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PUBLIC & PRIVATE 

LIFE OF ANIMAL 




PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE, HANSON AND CO. 
EDINBURGH AND LONDON. 



ANIMALS. 




252639 



- PUBLIC AND PRIVATE 



LIFE OF ANIMALS 



ADAPTED FROM THE FRENCH OF 

4LZAC, DROZ, JULES JAN IN, E. LEMO1NE, A. DE MUSSE7\ 
GEORGES SAND, &>c. 



BY 



J. THOMSON. 




LONDON: 

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTo.V 
PHILADELPHIA: J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO. 

1877. 
[All rights resa-'fd.} 



/ 



$ 




CONTENT g. 



PART I. 



INTRODUCTION 

INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF ANIMALS ..... I 

RESUME* OF PROCEEDINGS ....... 4 

HISTORY OF A II ARK . . . . . . -13 

THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD IN SEARCH OF BETTER GOVERNMENT . . 35 

LIFE AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINIONS OF A PENGUIN . . . 56 

THE LAST WORDS OF AN EPHEMERA ...... 75 

THE SORROWS OF AN OLD TOAD ....... 77 

THE THEATRICAL CRITIC ........ 88 

THE PHILOSOPHIC RAT ........ 98 

THE SUFFERINGS OF A BEETLE . . . . . IO8 

A FOX IN A TRAP ... ..... 126 

TEXT-BOOK FOR THE GUIDANCE OF ANIMALS STUDYING FOR HONOURS . .138 

THE INCONSISTENCIES OF A GREYHOUND .... . 149 

TOPAZ THE PORTRAIT-PAINTER ....... 162 

JOURNEY OF AN AFRICAN LION TO PARIS . . . . . .175 

ADVENTURES OF A BUTTERFLY . . . . . . . l88 

THE MISFORTUNES OF A CROCODILE ...... 2OO 

THE FUNERAL ORATION OF A SILKWOKM 2O6 



CONTENTS. 



PART II. 

PAGE 

DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS ....... 213 

HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD ....... 239 

THE QUEEN'S HUSBAND ..... . 262 

THE LOVES OF TWO INSECTS ....... 268 

THE LOVE ADVENTURES OF A FRENCH CAT ..... 282 

CELEBRATED TRIALS ........ 296 

THE BEAR ; OR, A LETTER FROM THE MOUNTAINS ..... 309 

THE SEVENTH HEAVEN . . . . . . . 318 

LETTERS FROM A SWALLOW TO A CANARY . . . . . -327 

MEDICAL ANIMALS . . . . . . . . 344 

THE GIRAFFE'S TABLETS . . . . . . . -353 

THE CROAKINGS OF A CROW .... 361 

SOUVENIRS OF AN OLD ROOK 

SUMMARY ......... 367 

AN OLD CASTLE .... . . 371 

THE DUKE AND DUCHESS ....... 373 

AN OLD FALCON ........ 37$ 

WHAT ANIMATES THE HEART OF A CHAMELEON . . . -377 

HISTORY OF THE HOSTS OF THE TERRACE ..... 380 

LAST CHAPTER ...... . . 384 





PAR 






INTRODUCTION. 



INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF 
ANIMALS. 

'^ EARY of insult, ignominy, and 
the constant oppression of man, 
we, the so-called Lower Ani- 
mals, have at last resolved to 
cast off the yoke of our oppres- 
sors, who, since the day of their 
'creation, have rendered lib- 
erty and equality nothing 
more than empty names. 

A deliberative Assembly 
has been constituted, with the 



2 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

full sanction of the Great Animal Powers, to whom we look with con- 
fidence for that guidance and support which will enable us to carry 
out the measures framed for our advancement. 

The Assembly has been already convoked. Its first sitting took 
place, on a lovely spring morning, on the green sward of the Jardin 
des Plantes. The spot was happily chosen to secure a full attendance 
of the animals of all nations. In justice to ourselves, let it be 
known that the proceedings were conducted with the harmony 
and good manners which the brutes have made peculiarly their 
own. 

An Orang-outang, fired by his love of liberty, mastered the me- 
chanism of locks, and at night, while the great world slept, opened 
the iron gates to the prisoners, who walked gravely out to take their 
seats. A large circle was formed, the Domestic Animals on the right, 
the Independent Wanderers on the left, and the Molluscs in the 
centre. 

The rising sun, struggling through the gloom, fell upon a scene at 
once imposing, and full of great historic interest. No assembly of men 
that ever met on earth could possibly display a more masterly control 
of passion than did the non-herbivorous and carnivorous members of 
their powerful instincts. The Hyaena became almost musical, while 
the notes of the Goose were full of deep pathos. 

The opening of the Congress was marked by a scene most touching. 
All the members embraced and kissed each other, in one or two 
instances with such fervour as to lead to the effusion of blood. In 
the interests of the Animal Kingdom, it must be recorded that a Duck 
was strangled by an overjoyed Fox, a Sheep by an enthusiastic Wolf, 
and a Horse by a delirious Tiger. As ancient feuds had existed 
between the families, these events were clearly referable to the power 
of ancestral usage, and the joy of reconciliation. A Barbary Duck 
chanted a solemn dirge over the body of her companion, who had 
fallen in the cause of freedom. Before resuming her seat, the member 
for Barbary made an eloquent speech, urging the Congress to over- 
look the accidents, and proceed with the orders of the day. At this 
moment an unfortunate Siamese Ambassador Elephant was about 
to propose the abolition of capital punishment. Being a devout 
Buddhist, he advocated the preservation of life in every form. 
Unluckily for his doctrine, he had placed his huge foot on a nest 
of Field-mice, killing both parents and children. A young Toad 



INTRODUCTION. 



drawing his attention to the melancholy fact overwhelmed him with 
remorse. 

In simple courtesy to the reader, we must state that the report of 
the proceedings was obtained from a Parroquet, whose veracity may 
be trusted, as he only repeats what he has heard. We crave permis- 
sion to conceal his name. Like the ancient senators of Venice, he has 
sworn silence on State affairs. In this instance alone he has thrown 
off his habitual reserve. 




RESUM& OF PROCEEDINGS. 

ONE HOUR AFTER MIDNIGHT. 

Nomination of President. Questions relative to the suppression of man. 
The members of the Left vote for war, the Right for arbitration. Dis- 
cussions in which the Lion, Tiger, Horse, Nightingale, Boar, and others 
take part. The opinion of the Fox, and what came of it. 

This publication is edited conjointly by the Ape, Parroquet, and Village- 
Cock. 

The garden paths are thronged with powerful deputies from the 
menageries of London, Berlin, Vienna, New York, and St. Petersburg, 
The Congress promises to be the most successful ever held in Paris. 
The death of a great French author, who devoted his pen to Natural 
History, has cast a gloom over the garden. The cultured animals wear 
crape, while the bolder spirits, proudly disdaining such symbols of 
grief, drop their ears and drag their tails along the ground. Here 
and there distinguished parties are hotly discussing the formation of 
the Congress, the framing of rules, and the choice of President. The 
Wolf sits beneath a tree, intently gazing on the Ape, whose careful 
attire and well-poised eye-glass proclaims man's far-off cousinship to 
his family. 

The Chameleon considers the get-up of the Ape a graceful tribute 
to his human kinsman. 

The Wolf suggests that " to ape is not to imitate ! " 

The Snake in the grass hisses. 

An erudite Crow croaks from his perch, " It would be extremely 
dangerous to follow in the footsteps of man," and quotes the well- 
known line, " Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes" He is loudly congra- 
tulated on the happy quotation by a German Owl, well versed in the 
dead languages. 

The Buzzard devoutly contemplates the two scholars, while the 
Mocking-bird jeeringly remarks, "One way of passing for a learned 
biped is by talking to others of things they do not understand." 



INTRODUCTION. 



The Chameleon blushes, and then looks blue. At this moment the 
Marmot awoke, to pronounce life a dream. "A dream?" said the 




Swallow, " nay, rather a journey." The Ephemera gasped out, "Too 
brief, too brief/' and died. 

The question of the Presidency brings the scattered groups to the 



6 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

centre of the garden, and to business. When all are seated and 
expectant, the Ass brays out silence, quite needlessly, as the only 
audible sound was caused by a Flea sneezing in his ear. His supporters- 
had prepared a speech for him, and his assurance, gravity, and weight 
obtained him a hearing. It was whispered that the honourable 
member was about to move that his ancient policy of progressing 
backward should be steadily kept in view. The orator, so adjusting 
his ears as to catch the faintest murmur of applause, flourished his tail 
impressively, and proceeded 

" Fellow-quadrupeds, and brother brutes of all climes and conditions, 
the question of the Presidency of this noble Assembly is one of primary 
importance. In order to lift the burdens from your backs, as the lineal 
descendant of Balaam's ass, I offer myself as candidate for the position, 
hedged round as it is with difficulty and danger. It is needless to 
remind you of the hereditary attributes which qualify me for the office 
of President firmness verging on obstinacy, patience under affliction, 
and a rooted determination to kick against all opposition." Here the 
speaker was interrupted by the Wolf, who protested against the 
presumption of this slave of man. Stung to the heart, the honourable 
Ass was about to indulge his time-honoured habit of kicking up his 
heels, when he was called to order by the Bear. 

" Brothers/' said the Bear, " let not the heat of party feeling, added 
to the stifling air of Paris, compel me to return to my native climb, the 
North Pole. There my suffering has been great, but in the Arctic 
Circle I can grin and bear it as becomes my nature. Here, in a circle 
so refined, such brawling ' is only fit for men whose fiery tempers dry 
up the fountain of their love." The Seal trembled at the sound of the 
dreaded voice. 

The Lion roared and restored order, while the Fox unobserved 
slipped into the tribune, and in a brief but subtle speech so eulogised 
the Mule who carried a useful appendage in the shape of a bell that 
he was chosen President. 

The Mule takes the chair, and the tinkling of his bell is followed by 
silence broken for an instant by the Watch- dog who fancied himself 
at his master's door gruffly inquiring, " Who's there 1 " 

The Wolf casts a scornful glance at the poor confused brute. 

The Parroquet and Cat, preparing quills supplied by the Goose, 
seat themselves at the table as Secretaries. 

The Lion ascends the tribune with imposing gravity; "shaking 



INTRODUCTION. 



the dewdrops from his mane," he denounces in a voice of thunder the 
tyranny of mankind, and continues : "There is but one way of escape 
open for all ! Fly with me to Africa, to the sweet solitudes of bound- 
less deserts and primeval forests, where we can hold our own against 
the inroads of degenerate humanity ! Far from sheltering walls man 
is powerless against the noble animals I see around me. Cities are 
men's refuge, and few there are of the lion-hearted among them, if I 
may use the expression " [ironical cheers from the Tiger], " who would 
meet us face to face in our native wilds." The speaker concluded 
with a glowing picture of the proud independence of animal life in 
Africa. 

The Elephant advocated emigration to Central Africa. " It is a 
land," said he, " where teeth and tusks are excellent passports, and 
where every traveller ought to carry his own trunk full of water." 
This latter remark was objected to by the Hippopotamus, who held 
that water would be more useful if left in swamps and rivers. 

Hereupon the Dog protested that nothing could equal city life, and 
was put down by the Tiger, Wolf, and Hyaena. As for the Tiger, with 
a terrific howl he leaped into the tribune bellowing out, " War ! blood ! 
Nothing short of the utter extermination of man will establish the 
security of the Animal Kingdom. Great generals seize great occasions. 
Did not Rabbits undermine Tarragona 1 ? Did not liquor conquer 
Alexander the Great ? The doom of the human race is sealed, its 
world-wide sway ended ! The savage despots have driven us from our 
homes, hewn down our forests, burned our jungles, ploughed up our 
prairies, scooped out the solid world to build their begrimed cities, 
lay their railroads, warm their thin blood, roast our flesh for food. 
Torturing, slaying, and playing the devil right and left, men have 
trod the skins of my ancestors under foot, worn our claws and teeth as 
talismans, poisoned us, imprisoned us, dried and stuffed us, and set us 
to mimic our bold natures beside mummies in museums. Down with 
them, I say ! Down with the tyrants ! " Here the orator paused, he 
caught sight of a tear glistening in the eye of a lamb, his teeth 
watered, and his claws crept out at sight of this gentle tribute to his 
eloquence. 

" Well may you weep, sweet one. He, man, robbed your mother of 
her fleece to clothe his guilty limbs, stole her life and devoured her, 
head and all. But why recall our wrongs ? Is it not enough that he 
deprived us of our birthright ? The world was ours before his advent, 



8 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



and he brought with him misery, confusion, death !" The Tiger con- 
cluded with an appeal to all beasts of prey to fight for liberty. 

An old Race-horse, now a poor hack, begged permission to say a 
few words. 

" Noble beasts, I must confess myself more familiar with sporting 
life than politics, or with the questions under discussion. I have, in 
my day, lived in clover; latterly the neglect and brutality of my 
human taskmasters have caused me much suffering. I am descended 
from a noble stock, the bluest blood of the turf circulates in my veins ; 
but alas ! I disappointed my first owners, and was soon sent adrift on 
the world. I was yoked in the last Royal Mail on the road, and 
earned my hay gallantly, until the accursed railways ruined my 
prospects. I beg humbly to move the abolition of steam traffic, and 
that the influential members of Congress should send me to grass, that 
I may end my days in the green fields, enjoying some State sinecure. 
Depend upon it, no one is more deserving of your sympathy and sup- 
port than the reduced member of a noble family." 

The President was so moved by this appeal, that he left the chair, 
announcing an interval of ten minutes. 




CLEARING THE BRAIN FOR ACTION. 

The tinkle of the bell summons the delegates to their places, which 
they take with a promptitude that bears witness to their zeal. 



INTRODUCTION. 



The Nightingale alights on the tribune, and in a gush of melody 
prays for bluer heavens and serener nights. He is called to order, as, 
notwithstanding the purity of his notes, he had proposed no tangible 
measure of reform. The Ass takes exception to the songster's low 
notes, as wanting in asinine richness. 

A modest Camel from Mecca proposes that men should be taught to 
use their legs in place of the backs of higher animals. This proposal 
is greeted with the applause of equine animals, including the President, 
who, discovering that the claims of this distinguished foreigner had 
been overlooked, inquires as to the future of Turkish finance. 

The Camel replies with much good sense, " There is one God, and 
Mahomet is his prophet ! " 

The Pig here gave it out as her opinion that trouble will never end 
until men are compelled to abjure the faith of Mahomet, respect Pigs, 
supply unlimited food and drink, and abolish sanitary law, so as to 
give nature free scope to expand. 

An old Boar accused by his foes of wandering about farmyards 
complimented the Pig on her good taste, suggesting, at the same time, 
that the absence of sanitary law might tend to poison the political 
atmosphere. Mrs. Pig protested against insinuations calculated to mix 
up piggeries with politics. 

The Fox, who had been taking notes, ascended the tribune and 
commenced 

" It is with great satisfaction that I rise to offer one or two remarks 
on the able speeches of the honourable members of this Congress. 
Before reviewing the various propositions, I take this opportunity of 
saying, that never throughout my diplomatic career have I witnessed 
harmony more perfect. Never has there been a more profound display 
of unanimity of sentiment than in the wagging tails of this wise 
assembly. The tail is the chief attribute coveted by man. [' Right 
you are/ growled an old Sporting-dog]. That by the way ; to return 
to business, nothing could be nobler than the proposal of the Lion to 
establish and defend our animal commonwealth in Africa. It must 
not, however, be forgotten that that continent is distant, and inac- 
cessible to many useful members of the Congress, industrial animals, 
who might succumb to savage warfare or malaria. 

"The allusion of the Dog to the joys of city life is not without 
interest ; but he is the slave of man. Mark his collar, inscribed with 
some barbarous name ! " The subject of comment scratches his ear, and 



10 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 




INTRODUCTION. n 



the Mocking-bird observes that his ears must have been cropped to 
imitate man. 

"For an instant carried away by the tide of his eloquence I 
shared the ardour of the Tiger, and almost lent my voice to the war- 
cry. War is very good for those who escape ; but it leaves in its train 
orphans and widows to be provided for by the survivors. Therefore 
it is not an unmixed good, more especially as right does not always- 
triumph. 

" The reasoning of the Pig is both good and bad, and like that of 
the Boar, is more calculated to affect pork than progress. 

" I take you all to witness that peace, war, and liberty are alike 
impossible for all. We are all agreed that evil exists somewhere, and 
that something must be done. [Loud cheers.] I have now the 
honour to propose a new, untried remedy. [Great excitement.] 
The only reasonable, lawful, and sacred course to follow is to 
struggle for knowledge. Why not take a leaf from human experience, 
and employ the Press to make known our wants, aspirations, customs, 
and usages, our public and private life. 

" Naturalists imagine they have done all when they have analysed our 
blood, and endeavoured to find out the secret of our noble instinct 
from our physical organisation. 

" We alone can relate our griefs, our patience under suffering, and our 
joys joys so rare to creatures on which the hand of man has pressed so 
heavily." The speaker paused to conceal his emotion. He continued : 
"Yes, we must publish our wrongs. 

" A word to the ladies. The circle which they most adorn is that 
of home, and to them must we look for information jotted down in 
leisure-hours on domestic subjects. Let them eschew politics. A 
lady politician is a creature to be avoided. I have further to crave 
the indulgence of this noble assembly in submitting the following 
articles 

*' Article ist. It is proposed to vote unlimited funds to carry out the 
' Illustrated Public and Private History of Animals,' the funds to be 
invested in Turkish Securities and Peruvian Bonds." 

A Member of the Left proposes to take charge of the money-bag. 
The Mole suggests that the funds should be sunk in certain dark 
mining companies, of which he is an active director. 

This proposal is negatived by the Codfish, who is of opinion that 



12 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

they would be safer at the bottom of the sea, as molehills have 
hitherto proved unremunerative. A Hen came forward with her 
Chickens, saying, as she had a number of little bills standing open, 
and which must be honoured, she would take part of the coin as a 
temporary loan, and do her best to lay golden eggs. 

This suggestion was referred to a select committee, and here the 
matter dropped. 

" Article, 2d. The Journal of the Animals must combat ignorance and bad 
faith, the joint enemies of truth. The entire matter to be edited by com- 
petent brutes, in order to disarm criticism. 

"Article 30?. Men must be employed to perform the drudgery of printing. 

" Article tfh. The Fox must find an intelligent philanthropic publisher." 

Here the Fox shook his head dolefully, and said he would try. " I 
have," he continued, " imposed on myself the severest task of all, as the 
profits of publication must, for a long time, be absorbed in corrections, 
discounts, and advertising." 

A vote of confidence passed in favour of the speaker's integrity and 
ability closed the proceedings. Before the Assembly broke up, it was 
announced, amid loud applause, that the Ape, Parroquet, and Village 
Cock would enter at once on their duties as Editors in Chief of the 
"Public and Private Lives of Animals," and that the work would open 
with the " History of a Hare." 





HISTORY OF A HARE. 



WRITTEN FROM DICTATION BY THE MAGPIE. 



CHAPTEE I. 

In which the Magpie begins. Some preliminary reflections by the Author 
of this history. The Hare is made prisoner. The Hare's theory of 
courage. 

ONE day last week, as I stood on the branch of an old tree, medi- 
tating on the closing lines of a poem I was about to dedicate to my 
race, my attention was arrested by a Leveret running at full speed 
across a field. He turned out to be a personal friend of my own, 
great-grandson of the hero of this tale. 

"Mr. Magpie," he cried, quite out of breath, "grandfather lies 
yonder in a corner of the wood. He sent me to call you." 

" Good child," I said, while I patted his cheek with my wing, " go 
your grandfather's errands, but do not run so fast, else you will come 
to an untimely end." 

"Ah !" he replied, sadly, "love feels no fatigue. But come to one 
who needs your counsel. My grandfather is ill, bitten by the keeper's 
dog." 

Repairing at once to the scene of the disaster, I found my old 
friend suffering intense pain from a wound in his right foot, which 
he carried slung in a willow-band. His head was also bandaged with 
soothing leaves brought by a neighbourly Deer. 

Blood still flowed, affording fresh testimony of man's tyranny. 

" My dear Magpie," said the venerable sufferer, whose face, although 
grave even to sadness, had lost nothing of its original simplicity, " our 
lot in this world is, at best, an unhappy one." 

"Alas!" I replied, "we encounter fresh tokens of our misery 
every day." 



14 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

"I know/' he continued, "that one ought always to be on one's 
^uard, and that the Hare is never certain to die peacefully in his form. 
The campaign begins badly. Here am I, perhaps blind of an eye, 
.and certainly lamed so that a Spaniel might easily outrun me. Worse 
than all, I am told the shooting begins in a fortnight. I must there- 
fore put my affairs in order, and leave the history of a short, but not 
uneventful life, to posterity to profit by. When mingling in the 
society of the world, one is constrained to observe a polite and prudent 
silence, and to disguise one's true sentiments. But in prospect of 
death, brought face to face with the last enemy, one can never hope 
to win his clemency by polished lying and hypocrisy. My tale will 
therefore be unreserved and true. Besides, in bequeathing a valuable 
history to posterity there is a satisfaction in feeling that one's influence 
will live, and prove a real power in the world long after the author's 
death." 

I had the greatest difficulty in making him understand that I was 
quite of his opinion, for during his imprisonment he had become very 
deaf, and what rendered it still more disagreeable was that he obsti- 
nately denied being so. How many times have I not cursed the 
unnatural life which bereft him of hearing ! I said in a loud tone, " It 
is a noble ambition to live one's life over again in one's works, and the 
history you are about to give to the world should enable you to face 
death calmly, as immortal fame may take the place of life. In any 
case, the book ought to see the light ; it can do no harm." He then 
told me that his troubles had been great. The wound in his right foot 
had prevented his using the pen. He tried to dictate to his grand- 
children, but they, poor little ones, had only learned how to eat and 
sleep. It had occurred to him to teach his eldest child to commit the 
story to memory, and thus hand it down from father to son. " But," 
he added, "oral traditions are never trustworthy; and as I have no 
desire to become a myth like the Great Buddha, or Saint Simon, I beg 
you will act as my amanuensis. My history would then, sir, reflect 
the lustre of your genius." 

Wishing to invest this, the most important and perhaps the last 
act of his life, with due solemnity, he retired for a few seconds. Being 
a learned Hare, he thought it necessary to commence with a quotation. 

" Approchez, mes enfants, enfin 1'heure est venue 
Qu'ii faut que mon secret delate a votre vue." 



HISTORY OF A HARE. 



These two lines by Racine were splendidly rendered by the erudite 
speaker. 

The eldest grandchild left his accustomed sport, and respectfully 
seated himself on his grandfather's knee. The second, who was pas- 
sionately fond of stories, pricked up his ears, while the youngest sat 
up, prepared to divide his attention between the narrative and a 
cabbage-leaf he was eating. The old Hare, seeing that I was waiting, 
began thus 

" My secret, my dear children, is my history. May it serve you as 




a lesson, for Wisdom does not come to us ; we must travel by long and 
tortuous ways to meet her. I am ten years old so old, indeed, that 
never before, in the memory of Hares, has so long a term of life been 
granted to a poor animal. I was born in France, of French parents, 



1 6 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

in May 1830; there, behind that oak, the finest tree in the beautiful 
forest of Rambouillet, on a bed of moss which my good mother had 
lined with her softest fur. I can still recall those beautiful nights of 
my infancy when simply to live was to be happy, the moonlight seemed 
so pure, the grass so tender, and the wild thyme and clover so fragrant. 
Life was to be clouded, but not without its gleams of sunshine. I was- 
gay then, giddy and idle as you are. I had your age, your thought- 
lessness, and the use of my four feet. I knew nothing of life ; I was 
happy, yes, happy ! in ignorance of the cruel fate that may at any 
moment overtake us. It was not long before I became aware that the 
days, as they followed each other, were only alike in duration ; some 
brought with them burdens of sorrow that seemed to blot out the joy 
from life. 

" One day, after scampering over these fields, and through the 
woods, I returned to sleep by my mother's side (as a child ought to 
do). At daybreak I was rudely awakened by two claps of thunder, 
followed by the most horrible clamour. . . . My mother, at two 
paces from me, lay dying, assassinated ! . . . * Ran away/ she cried, 
and expired. Her last breath was for me ! One second had taught 
me what a gun was in the cruel hands of man. Ah, my children ! 
were there no men on earth, it would be the Hares' paradise. It is so 
full of riches. Its brooks are so pure, its herbs so sweet, and its 
mossy nooks so lovely. Who, I ask you, could be happier than a 
Hare, if the good God had not, for His own wise ends, permitted man 
to oppress us 1 But alas ! every medal has a reverse face ; evil is 
always side by side with good, and man by the side of the brute. 
Would you believe it, my dear Magpie I have it on the best authority 
that man was originally a godlike animal 1 " 

" So it is said," I replied, " and he has himself to thank for his 
present condition." 

"Tell me, grandfather," said the youngest; "in the field yonder 
were two little Hares with their sister, and a large bird that wanted 
to prevent them passing. Was that a man ? " 

" Be quiet," said her brother ; " since it was a bird, how could it be 
a man ? If you want grandfather to hear, you must scream, and that 
will frighten the neighbours." 

" Silence ! " cried the old Hare, who perceived they were not listening. 
He then inquired, "Where was I ? " 

"Your mother had just died, and you had fled." 



HISTORY OF A HARE. 



" Yes, to be sure. My poor mother, she was right; her death was only 
a prelude to my own suffering. It was a royal hunt that day, and a 



(t 




horrible carnage took place. The ground was strewn with the slain ; 
blood everywhere, on the grass and underwood ; branches, broken by 
bullets, lay scattered about ; and the flowers were trodden under foot. 



i8 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

Five hundred victims fell on that dreadful day. One cannot under- 
stand why men should call this sport, and enjoy it as a pastime. 

" My mother's death was well and speedily avenged. It was a royal 
hunt, but it was the last ; he who held the gun, I am told, passed once 
more through Eambouillet, but not as a sportsman. 

"I followed my mother's advice, and, for a hare only eighteen 
days old, ran bravely ; yes, bravely ! If ever, my children, you are in 
danger, fear nothing, flee from it. It is no disgrace to retreat before 
superior force. Nothing annoys me more than to hear men talk of our 
timidity and cowardice. They ought rather to admire and imitate the 
tact which prompts us to use our legs, being ignorant of the use of 
arms. Our weakness makes the strength of boastful men and brutes. 

" I ran until I fell quite exhausted, and became insensible. When 
I recovered consciousness, judge of my terror ! I found myself no 
longer in the green fields, but shut up in a narrow prison, a closed 
basket. My luck had deserted me, and yet it was something to know 
I was still living, as it is said death is the worst of all evils, being the 
last. But men rarely release their prisoners. My mind therefore 
became a prey to bitter forebodings, as I had no notion of what might 
become of me. I was shaken by rough jolts, when one, more severe 
than the others, half-opened my prison door, and enabled me to see 
that the man on whose arm it was suspended was not walking, yet a 
rapid motion carried us along. You, who as yet have seen nothing, 
will find it hard to believe that my captor was mounted on a horse. 
It was man above, and horse beneath. I could never make out why 
such a strong, noble creature should, like a dog, consent to become the 
slave of man to carry him to and fro, and be whipped, spurred, and 
abused by him. If, like the Buddhists, we were to believe in trans- 
migration after death, it would all come right at last, and we some 
day, as men, would have our time of torturing animals. But the 
doctrine, my children, is more than doubtful. I, for one, have no faith 
in it. 

" My captor was a magnificent creature the king's footman." 



HISTORY OF A HARE. 19 



CHAPTER II. 

The Revolution of July, and its fatal consequences. Utility of the 
Fine Arts. 

AFTER a brief but impressive pause, a shadow seeming to settle on 
his fine features, my old friend resumed the thread of his narrative. 

" I offered no resistance. It was my fate, and I accepted it calmly. 
Among men, every one is more or less the servant of another, the only 
difference being in the kind of services rendered. Once within the 
pale of civilisation, I was forced to accept its degrading obligations. 
The king's lackey was my master. 

" As good luck would have it, his little girl, who had taken me for a 
cat, became my friend. It was soon settled that I was to be killed. 
My mistress pleaded for my youth and beauty, and the pleasure 
which my society afforded her. Her chief delight was in pulling my 
ears, a familiarity which I never resented. My patience won her 
heart, and I felt grateful to her for her kindness to me. 

" Women, my children, are infinitely superior to men ; they never 
go hunting hares, men are their game ! 

" I would have suffered patiently, had I seen the faintest prospect of 
escape ; but I dreaded the pitiless bayonet of the guard at the gate of 
the Louvre. 

" In a small room in Paris, beneath the shade of the Tuileries, I 
often watered my bread with my tears. This bread of slavery seemed, 
oh ! so bitter, and so difficult to get over, for my heart was full 
of the green fields and sweet herbs of freedom. No abode on 
earth can be more dreary than a palace when one is compelled to re- 
main within its gilded walls. The gold and glitter soon grow dim 
when compared with the blue sky and free earth, the delight of 
God's creatures. 

" I tried to while away the time by gazing out of the window, but 
this only rendered my bondage all the more galling. I began to hate 
the monotony of my new life. What would I not have given for one 
hour's liberty, and a bit of thyme. Often was I tempted to throw 
myself from the window of my prison, to take one desperate leap, and 
live or die for freedom. Believe me, my children, happiness seldom 
dwells within palace walls. 



20 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

" My master, in his position as royal footman, had little to occupy 
his leisure ; his chief duties consisted in posturing, and wearing a suit 
of gaudy clothes. From his lofty point of view my education seemed 
extremely defective ; he therefore set himself the task of improving 
me, that is, rendering me more like himself. I was obliged to learn a- 
number of exercises by a process of torture as ingenious as it was- 
devilish, the lessons becoming more and more degrading. O 
misery ! I was soon able to do the dead hare and the living hare, at. 
the slightest sign from my master, as if I were a mere dog. My 
tyrant, encouraged by the success I owed to the rigour of his method,, 
added to this series of lessons what he termed an accomplishment : 
he taught me the art of fiendish music. In spite of the terror I felt, 
at the noise, I was soon able to perform a passable roll on the drum. 
This new talent had to be displayed every time any member of the 
royal family left the palace. 

" One .day, it was Tuesday, July 27, 1830 (I shall never forget that 
date) the sun was shining gloriously. I had just finished beating- 
the roll for Monsieur the Duke of Angouleme. My nerves were 
always irritated by contact with the donkey's skin of the drum. All at 
once I heard guns going off. They seemed to be approaching the 
Tuileries from the side of the Palais Royal. 

" Dear me ! I thought, some unfortunate hares have had the- 
imprudence to show themselves in the streets of Paris, where there 
are so many dogs and guns and sportsmen. But then I reflected that 
most of the latter were picturesque, not real sportsmen, who had 
never shot a hare. The dreadful recollection of the hunt at Ram- 
bouillet froze me with fright. What could hares possibly have done 
to man to bring down such vengeance upon them 1 I instinctively 
turned to my mistress to implore her protection, when I beheld her 
face filled with terror greater than my own. I was about to thank 
her for the pity she felt for me, when I perceived that her fear was; 
only personal, that she was thinking very little indeed about me, and 
very much about herself. 

" These gun-shots, each detonation of which congealed the blood in 
my veins, were fired by men on their fellows. I rubbed my eyes, I 
bit my feet till they bled, to assure myself I was not dreaming. I can 
only say, like Orgon 

" ' De mes propres yeux vu 

Le qu'on appelle vu.' 



HISTORY OF A HARE. 21 

"The need that men have for sport is so pressing, that in the 
absence of other game they take to shooting each other." 

" It is dreadful to think of the depravity of human nature," the 
Magpie replied. "I am positively obliged to hide myself towards 
evening, to escape the last shot of some passing sportsman, whose only 
reason for not firing at a magpie would be to save his gunpowder. 
In all probability, the wretch who might bring me down would not 
think even me good enough to eat." 

" What is still more singular," said my friend, " is that men glory in 
this butchery, and a great 'bag,' filled with victims, is considered 
something to be proud of. I shall not weary you with the full 
history of the Revolution of July, although many details remain 
unrecorded. A Hare, although a lover of freedom, would hardly be 
Accepted as an historian." 

" What is a revolution of July?" inquired the little Hare, who, like all 
children, only listened now and then when any word struck him. 

" Will you be quiet? " said his brother ; "grandfather has just told 
us that it is a time when every one is frightened." 

" I shall content myself by telling you that the struggle continued 
three whole days. My ears were torn with the mingled noise of 
drums, cannon, the whistle of the bullets, and the sound of fierce 
.strife, that filled Paris like the breaking of angry waves on a rocky 
-shore. 

"While the people fought and barricaded the streets, the Court was 
at St. Cloud. As for ourselves, we passed a fearful night at the 
Tuileries. Our terror seemed to prolong the darkness. When the 
dawn came at last, the firing was renewed, and I heard that the Hotel 
de Ville had been taken and retaken. I no doubt would have felt 
grieved at all this had I been able to go away like the Court, but that 
was not to be thought of. On the morning of the 2Qth a dreadful 
tumult was heard under the windows, followed by the booming of 
cannon, and dull crash of iron balls. ' It is finished, the Louvre is 
taken/ cried my master; and clasping the little girl in his arms, he 
disappeared. It was then eleven o'clock. When they had gone, I 
realised that I was alone and helpless, but then it occurred to me, 
there being no one here, I have no enemies, and my courage rose with 
the reflection. The men outside might kill each other, and thus 
expend their ammunition as fast as they chose so much the worse for 
men, and the better for Hares. 



22 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



"I was hidden beneath the bed, for the room was invaded by 
soldiers, who cried in a strange tongue, 'Long live the King.' 'Cry 




away/ I said, ' it is easy to see that you are not Hares, and that the king 
has not been making game of you.' Soon the 'redcoats' disappeared, 



HISTORY OF A HARE. 23 



and a poor man a scholar, I believe came and sought shelter in my 
room. He had no taste for war ; he therefore deposited himself in a 
cupboard, where he was soon discovered by a crowd of bloodstained 
ruffians, who searched everywhere, crying ' Liberty ! long live Liberty ! ' 
as if they had hoped to find it in some odd corner of the Tuileries. 
After fixing a flag out of the window, they sung a striking song, com- 
mencing 

" ' Come children of the country, 
The day of glory has arrived ! ' 

Some of them were black with powder, and must have fought as 
hard as if they had been paid for it. I thought that these poor 
begrimed creatures, as they kept continually shouting ' Liberty ! ' must 
have been imprisoned in baskets, or shut up in small rooms, and were 
rejoicing in their freedom. I felt carried away by their enthusiasm, 
and had advanced three steps to join in the cry of 'Liberty!' when my 
conscience arrested me with the question, * Why should I ?' 

" During these three days would you believe it, my dear magpie ? 
twelve hundred men were killed and buried." 

"Bah!" I said, "the dead are buried, but not their ideas !" 

" Hum ! " he replied. 

" Next day my master came back : he had not shown himself for 
twenty-four hours. He was changed he had ' turned his coat,' an 
operation which cost him a pang, as he had made a good thing out of 
the king's livery. Men turn their coats as easily as the wind turns the 
weathercock on yonder <[>ire. It is a mean artifice, to which we 
could not descend without spoiling our fair proportions. 

"I learned from my master's wife that there was now no king. 
Charles X. had gone never to return, and the worst of all was, that 
they themselves were ruined. You observe, the downfall of the king 
was viewed selfishly, not as a national calamity, but simply as an 
event which blighted their own fortunes. That is the way of men. 
Secretly I rejoiced at the disaster, as it rendered rny emancipation 
possible. Alas ! my dear little Hares, Hares propose, and man dis- 
poses. Have no faith in the liberty born of the blood and agony of 
revolution. The change wrought by strife only embittered rny lot. 
My master, who had never been taught any useful occupation, was 
reduced to living on his wits, which served him so badly, as to leave 
him often without bread. He was brought to such straits as we Hares 
are when the snow lies heavy on the ground. I have seen his poor 



24 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

child weeping for the food that men often find so difficult to procure. 
Be thankful, my children, that you are not men ; and that you can 
feed on the simple herbs as nature has provided them. Although 
suffering from hunger, I felt many a bitter pang for my little mistress. 
If the rich only knew the appetite of the poor, they would be afraid 
of being devoured. I more times than once saw my master eye me with 
ferocity. A famished man has no pity ; I believe he would almost eat 
his own children. You will readily understand, therefore, that my life 
was in the greatest danger. May you ever be kept from the peril 
of becoming a stew." 

" What is a stew 1 " inquired the little Hare in a loud voice. 

" A stew is a Hare cut up and cooked in a pan. A great man once 
said that our flesh is delicious, and our blood the sweetest of all 
animals ; but he adds that we seem to be aware of our danger, as we 
sleep with our eyes open." At this reply the audience became so 
quiet, that one might have heard the grass growing. 

" Nothing can ever make me believe," cried the old Hare, much 
moved by the recollection of that incident in his life, " that Hares 
were created to be cooked, and that man cannot employ himself better 
than by eating animals in many respects superior to him. I owe my 
life to the misery that reduced me to skin and bone, and to the timely 
word of my mistress who pleaded for my life, that I might still dis- 
play my accomplishments. ' Ah ! ' said my master, striking his forehead 
and looking dramatic, as Frenchmen always do in joy or sorrow, ' I 
have an idea ' that was for him a sort of miracle. From that day I 
became a public character, and the saviour of the family." 




HISTORY OF A HARE. 25 



CHAPTER III. 

Public and political life. His master becomes his charge. Glory nothing 
but a wreath of smoke. 

"I SOON discovered my destiny. It was not the Tuileries ! My master 
had made a little house of four boards, which he set up in the Champs 
Elyse"es, and there, beneath the blue sky, I, a denizen of the forest of 
Rambouillet, was exhibited in public at the cost of my proper pride, 
natural modesty, and health. I well remember my master's words 
just before I made my cttbut. 

11 ' Bless Heaven ! ' he said, ' that after profiting by your more than 
ordinary education, you have fallen into the hands of such a master. 
I have trained you and fed you for nothing. The moment has now 
arrived for you to prove to the world your noble sense of gratitude. 
When I caught you, you were rustic and uninstructed. The airs and 
graces which you have acquired were taught you for your amusement. 
Now they will enable us to enter upon a glorious and lucrative career. 
It has always been understood that men, sooner or later, reap the 
fruits of their disinterestedness. Remember that from this day our 
interests become one. You are about to appear before a people, the 
most polished, proud, and difficult to please, and all that is required of 
you is to please everybody. Be careful never to mention King 
Charles, and all will go well, as crime and injustice have been 
abolished. Do your part, and I will relieve you of the task of receiving 
the money. We shall never make millions ; but the poor manage to 
live upon less/ 

" 'Ah me !' I said to myself, 'what a modest speech ! My master 
is a bold tyrant ; to hear him, one would think that I had voluntarily 
relinquished my liberty, and besought him to snatch me away from all 
that was dear to me in life.' For all that, my ddbut was a most bril- 
liant affair ; I became the rage of Paris. During three years I beat 
the roll-call for the Ecole Polytechnique, Louis Phillipe, La Fayette, 
Lafitte, for nineteen ministers, and for Napoleon the Great. I 
learned go on writing, my dear Magpie to fire cannon. 

" For a long time, by great good luck, I never mistook one name 
for another, and never once abused the trust of those depending on 
me. My master praised my probity, and declared me incorruptible. 



26 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



" During my public career I paid some attention to politics. In the 
Oriental question I felt deeply interested. It was at last settled by 




diplornatic subtlety, to the satisfaction of the Hares of all nations. In 
the East the Hare has been an object of great political importance. It 



HISTORY OF A HARE. 27 

may be as well here to record ray conviction that there is no reason to 
dread the immediate development of the power of the Ottoman 
Empire, or to give credence to the report that a cure has been 
discovered for the moral and physical obliquity of Mongolian eyes. 

" To continue my narrative. Once, at the close of a long fatiguing 
day, I had just finished the fiftieth representation, and obtained 
numerous cheers and coppers. The two candles were nearly burned 
out, when my master insisted on my firing a number of guns. I felt 
fagged and stupid. At the words, ' A salute for Wellington/ I ought 
to have refused to fire ; but bang went the gun. I was accused of 
treachery by the crowd, who hurled my master, show and all, into the 
middle of the road. As for myself, I fell pell-mell with money, 
candles, and theatre. St. Augustine and Mirabeau were right when 
they said, each in his own way, ' That glory is nothing but a wreath 
of smoke/ or like a candle that may be extinguished by the slightest 
breath of adversity. Happily, fear gave me courage. Amid the 
tumult I sought safety in flight. Hardly fifty feet from the scene of 
my fame, I still heard the clamour of the angry crowd. About to 
cross the road at a single bound, I was caught between the legs of 
some one, who, like myself, seemed to be fleeing from the fray. My 
speed was so rapid, and the shock so violent, that I rolled into the 
ditch, carrying the owner of the legs with me. My doom was sealed, 
I thought. Mi- n are far too proud not to resent being brought low by 
a poor Hare. My life will be sacrificed ! '' 



CHAPTER IV. 

" Birds of a feather flock together." Our hero secures the friendship of a 
subaltern Government Clerk. An unfortuuate death. Good-bye to 

Paris. 

"I COULD hardly believe my eyes this man, of whom I was in the 
greatest dread, was himself as frightened as if the devil had got 
between his legs. Good, I said, my lucky star has not left me. 
This old gentleman seems to have adopted my theory of courage. 
Both being naturally timid, we will constantly agree. 'Sir/ I 



28 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

whispered, in my softest and most reassuring tones, 'I am unused 
to addressing your fellow-men, but I make bold to speak to you, 
as, if we are not blood relations, we are at least brothers by senti- 
ment. You are afraid, you cannot deny it ! and your emotion renders 
you all the more worthy in my eyes.' 

" At that moment a carriage passed, and by its light I perceived 
that the stranger I had brought down was the wise man who hid 
himself in the cupboard in the Tuileries, and who had been one of the 
most attentive of my audience. He had a man's body, it is true, but 
from his honesty, and the gentle expression of his face, I felt certain 
that his ancestors had belonged to our race. His joy was great when, 
regaining his habitual calm, he recognised in me his favourite actor. 
' The fear,' he said, ' that seized upon me is infinitely worse than its 
cause.' These words seemed to me to sound the very depths of pro- 
fundity. I felt, for the first time, a true attachment, and permitted 
my new friend to carry me away. I soon discovered that he was 
extremely humble and poor, being employed as a sub-Government 
clerk. He was bent less by age than by his constant habit of 
saluting every one, by his care to keep his head lower than his 
superiors, and by his duty, which consisted in doing the work of 
those above him, as well as his own. Next to his son, who bore a 
close resemblance to him, he loved what he called his garden, a small 
box of earth at the window, and a few flowers, which opened with the 
sun. They were the little censers of his worship, whose fragrance 
ascended to heaven with his morning prayers.'' 

" 'My dear sir,' said one of our neighbours, an actor more successful 
in life than my master, ' you are far too modest ; you do not make 
enough of yourself. I was once modest like you, but I cured myself 
of that grave defect. Do as I did compel the world to accept you at 
your own value. Speak louder ; bluster about ; give yourself full 
voice and swagger. It is wonderful how it tells, although the voice 
owes its depth to the emptiness within, and the swagger to the fact 
that without it your natural endowments would never lift you from 
the gutter.' 

"The world is always liberal with advice to the poor; but my 
master preferred his humble position to all the riches and fame that 
might be acquired by becoming an impostor, whose energies would 
always be strained to enable him to crow lustily from his own dunghill. 

" Our life was a very regular one. The father left early for his 



HISTORY OF A HARE. 29 

office, and his son for school. I was left alone in charge of our room, 
and should have felt dull had not the quiet and rest their peculiar 
charm after the fatigues of my life in the Champs Elysees. After the 
day's work we were all united at our evening meal, a most frugal one. 
I was, indeed, often afraid of being hungry. They would have shared 
their last crust with me. It is always so with the poor. I felt nearer 
God in this little room than I had done since I left the green fields ; 
I noticed so many acts of self-denying love. 

" One day my master came home very much agitated, and burying 
his head in his hands, exclaimed, ' My God ! they talk of another 
change of Ministry ; if I lose my place, what will become of us ? We 
have no money ! ' ' My poor father/ said the son, ' I will work for 
you. I am big, and can make money.' 'No, my boy, you are still 
young, and know nothing of the world.' ' But, father,' he continued, 
' why not go to the king, and ask him for money r \ ' My master said, 
' They are only beggars who live upon their miseries ; and besides, the 
king has his own poor relations to provide for.' 

" Since the rich have always their poor relations, why have not the 
poor their rich ones ? " 

"Tell me," said the little Hare, who had slipped behind her grand- 
father, so as to shout into his ear ; " You talk of king and ministers 
who are they 1 " 

" Be quiet," replied the old Hare, " it cannot be of any consequence 
to you who or what the king is. It is not yet certain whether he is a 
person or a thing. As to the ministers, they are the gentlemen who 
cause others to lose their places, until they have lost their own." 

" Ah me ! " said the little one, much satisfied with his explanation ; 
" never let it be said that it is useless to speak seriously to children." 

" The fatal day came at last. My master lost his place by a change 
of Ministry, and soon after died of a broken heart. His poor son was 
not long in following him to the grave. I was left alone in the empty 
room, as everything was taken and sold to meet the funeral expenses. 
I should myself have been sacrificed had I not escaped after nightfall, 
and sped through the streets of Paris, scarcely halting to take breath 
until beyond the Arc de 1'Etoile. There I paused for a moment, 
casting a look of compassion on the great city wrapped in slumber 
beneath a dark cloud, that shut out heaven from its view." 



30 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



CHAPTEB V. 

Return to the fields. The worthlessness of men and other animals. A Cock, 
accustomed to the ring, provokes our hero. Duel \vith pistols. 

" I SOON reached a wood, and felt my chest expand with the pure air. 
It was so long since I beheld the full extent of the sky, that I seemed 
to look upon it for the first time. The moonlight was bright, and vthe 
night-breeze laden with a banquet of fresh odours that it had caught 
up about the fields and hedgerows. Endowed by nature with an acute 
sense of smell, nothing could be more delicious to a weary Hare than 
the fresh fragrance of grass and thyme. Each breath I inhaled filled 
me with the fond memories of my childhood, which passed into my 
dreams as I slept in the open air. Early next morning I was roused 
by the clang of steel. Two gentlemen were fighting with swords, 
and appeared to me determined to kill each other; however, when 
they were tired of fencing, they walked off quietly arm-in-arm. Other 
combatants followed, but not one fell, and no blood was spilt in these 
affairs of honour, after nights of gambling and debauchery. 

" Journeying onward until within sight of a village, I fell in with a 
Cock. As I had been cooped up in a town, and seen nothing but men 
and women for so long, this bird interested me greatly. He was a 
fine fellow, high on his legs, and carried his head as if he could not 
bend his neck. He had quite a martial bearing, reminding one of a 
French soldier. 

" ' By my comb ! ' he exclaimed, ' I hope you will know me again. 
I never came across a Hare with such a stock of assurance.' 

" ' What ! ' I replied, * may I not admire your fine proportions. I 
have been so long in Paris, I have quite forgotten the grandeur of 
nature.' 

"Would you believe it? Although my answer was so soft and 
simple, yet the fellow was offended, crowed like to split my ears, and 
cried, ' I am the Cock of the village, and it shall never be said that a 
miserable Hare can insult me with impunity.' 

" ' You astonish me,' I continued, ' I never intended to insult you.' 

" ' I have nothing to do with your intentions. Every insult ought to 
be wiped out with blood. I am rather badly off for a fight, and I shall 



HISTORY OF A HARE. 31 

have much pleasure in giving you a lesson in good manners. Choose 
your arms.' 

" ' I would rather die than fight. Let me pass I am going to 
Kambouillet to rejoin-some old friends.' 

" * Fight you must, else I will put a ball through you. Here are an 
Ox and a Dog, who will serve as seconds. Follow me, and do not 
attempt to escape.' 

" What could I do 1 flight was impossible I obeyed. Then address- 
ing the seconds, I said, ' Sirs, this Cock is a professed duellist. Will 
you stand by and see me assassinated? I have never fought, and 
my blood will be on your heads.' 

" ' Bah ! ' said the Dog, ' that is a trifle. Everything must have a 
beginning. Your simple candour interests me. I will stand by you. 
Now that I am certain of you, it concerns my honour that you should 
fight.' 

" ' You are extremely polite, and I am touched with your goodness ; 
but I would rather deny myself the pleasure of having you witness my 
death.' 

" * Hear him, my dear Ox,' cried my adversary. ' In what times do 
we live 1 Has it positively come to this, that cowardice, impudence, 
and low-bred nature are to triumph over all that is chivalrous and noble 
in the world ? ' 

" The pitiless Ox bellowed with rage. The Dog, taking me aside, 
said in a soothing tone, ' It makes little odds in the end liow one dies ; 
and between us two, I don't half like this Cock. Believe me, I heartily 
wish you success. Were I a sporting Dog, you might doubt my 
sincerity, but I have settled down to a country life, that would be 
quiet were it not for the early crowing of your foe, who permits no 
one in the village to sleep after daybreak.' 

" ' I shall never be able to get through it,' I replied, half dead. 

" ' You have the choice of weapons. Choose pistols, and I will load 
them.' 

" ' In the name of all that is canine and good,' I said, ' try and 
arrange this affair.' 

" * Come, make haste,' cried the Cock. * Enter this copse ! One of 
us will never leave it ! ' he added. 

"At these words I felt a cold chill run through me. As a last 
resource, I reminded the Ox and Dog of the law against duelling. 

" ' Those laws are made by cowards,' they replied. 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



" I endeavoured to work upon the tenderest feelings of my adver- 
sary's nature by inquiring what would become of his poor hens should 
he fall. All was in vain. Twenty-five paces were marked off; the 
pistols were loaded, and we took our places. 



BOIS 

DE 
BOULOGNE. 







' ' Are you used to this arm ? ' said the Dog. 

1 ' Alas ! yes ; but I have neither aimed at nor wounded any one.' 

good luck would have it, I had to fire first. 



HISTORY OF A HARE. 33 

" * Take good aim/ said the Dog, ' I detest this fellow.' 

" ' Why on earth, then, don't you take my place ? Are you still 
at enmity with me/ I said to my foe. ' Let us kiss and forget all.' 

" ' Fire ! ' he replied, cursing fearfully. 

" This roused me. The Ox retired and gave the signal ; I pressed 
the trigger, and we both fell I, from emotion, and the Cock from the 
ball that pierced his heart." 

" * Hurrah ! ' cried the Dog. 

" * Silence, gentlemen/ I said, ' this is no time for rejoicing.' But he 
was a jolly dog, and light-hearted. 

" ' Bravo ! ' said the Ox, ' you have rendered a public service. I 
shall be glad if you will dine with me this evening. The grass is 
particularly tender in this neighbourhood.' 

" I declined the invitation and said, ' May the blood of this miserable 
bully be upon your heads. Gentlemen, good morning.' 

" My journey to Eambouillet was, as you may be certain, a sad one. 
It was long before the dread image of my dead enemy vanished from 
my eyes. The freshness and beauty of nature at last acted as a balm 
to my spirits ; and ere I reached the forest, with all its souvenirs of my 
youth, my troubles were forgotten. Some months after my return, I 
had the pleasure of becoming a father, and soon after a. grandfather. 
You know the rest, my dear children, so now you are at liberty.' 1 
At these words his audience awoke. 

" Since my return, my dear Magpie, I have had leisure for reflec- 
tion, and have come to the conclusion that true happiness is not to be 
found in this world. If it does exist at all, it is most difficult to attain, 
and the most fleeting possession of our animal nature. Philosophic 
men without number have wasted their lives in vainly attempting to 
discover some clue to the mystery, and all to no purpose. Some of 
them would fain have us believe that they had nearly created a 
heaven for themselves where self-love had only set up its own image 
as its god. Other men demand happiness of heaven as if it were a 
debt owed them by its Divine Ruler, and probably the wisest section 
settle down to enjoy the pleasures which life undoubtedly affords, and 
to make the best of * the ills that flesh is heir to.' 

" I believe, on the whole, that our lives, although they have their 
disadvantages, are pleasanter than the lives of men, for this reason. 
The present is to us everything. We live for to-day. Men live for 
to-morrow. The to-morrow that is to be brimful of joy. Alas ! thus 

c 



34 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



human hope is carried on through all the days of life ; but the joy is 
never realised, and the hope goes with men beyond the grave." 




THE FjLlQHT OF A PAFJIglAN JBlRD 



IN SEARCH OF BETTER GOVERNMENT. 




PARISIAN Sparrows have long been 
recognised as the boldest of the 
feathered tribe. Thoroughly French, 
they have their follies, and their vir- 
tues to atone for them ; but above 
all, they have been for many genera- 
tions objects of envy to the birds of 
foreign climes. This latter reflection 
is sufficient to account for all the 
calumnies heaped upon them by their 
> enemies. They who dwell amid the 
splendour of the capital, are a happy 
tribe. As for myself I am one of the 

number of distinguished metropolitan birds. Of a naturally gay 
disposition, an unusually liberal education has lent gravity to my 
appearance. I have been fed on crumbs of philosophy ; having built 
my nest in the spout of an illustrious writer's dwelling. Thence I fly 
to the windows of the Tuileries, and compare the anxieties of the 
palace and the fading grandeur of kings, with the immortal roses, 
'budding in the simple abode of my master, which will one day 
wreathe his brow with an undying glory. 

By picking up the crumbs that have fallen from this great man's 
table, I myself have become illustrious among the birds of my feather, 
who, after mature deliberation, have appointed me to select the form of 
government calculated to promote -the welfare of sparrows. The task 
implied is a difficult one, as my constituents never remain long on one 
perch, chattering incessantly when their liberty is threatened, and 
fighting among themselves almost without cause. 



36 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

The birds of Paris, ever on the wing, have many of them settled 
down to thinking, and are now giving their attention to such subjects 
as religion, morality, and philosophy. 

Before residing in the spout in the Rue de Rivoli I made my 
escape from a cage in which I had been imprisoned for two years. 
Every time I felt thirsty, I had to draw water to amuse my master, 
one of those bearded animals who would have us believe they are 
the lords of creation. As soon as I regained my liberty, I related 
my sad story to some friends in the Faubourg St. Antoine, who 
treated me with great kindness. It was then, for the first time, I 
observed the habits of the bird-world, and discovered that the joy of 
life does not consist in simply eating and drinking. I was led to 
believe that even the life of the sparrow has higher ends, and to form 
convictions which have added greatly to my fame. 

Many a time have I sat on the head of one of the statues of the- 
Palais Koyal, where I might be seen with my plumes ruffled, my head 
between my shoulders, and, with one eye closed on the world, reflect- 
ing on our rights, our duties, and our future. Grave questions forced 
themselves upon me. Where do sparrows come from 1 ? Where do- 
th ey go- to ? Why can't they weep ? Why don't they form themselves 
into societies like crows 1 Why don't French sparrows settle every- 
thing by arbitration, since they enjoy such a sublime language ? 

Great changes were taking place around ; houses were supplanting 
gardens, and depriving birds of the insects and grubs found in the 
shrubs and soil. The result, as might have been expected, was to draw 
the line still more markedly between the rich and poor, and to set up 
"caste" as it exists among certain types of the human race. The 
sparrows in the densely-populated quarters were reduced to living on 
offal, while the aristocracy fed daintily, and perched as near heaven as 
the trees of the Champs d'Elyse"es would allow them. 

This defective constitution could not last long; one half of the 
feathered tribe chirping joyously in the fulness of their stomachs, 
surrounded by superb families, and the other half brawling and 
clamouring for filthy refuse. The latter, driven to desperation, deter- 
mined indeed to use, if need be, their horny beaks to improve their 
social condition. 

With this laudable object in view, a deputation waited on a bird 
who had lived in the Faubourg St. Antoine, and assisted at the taking 
of the Bastille. This bird was appointed to the command of the 



THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD. 37 

sufferers, who organised themselves into a body, each one feeling the 
necessity of implicit obedience. 

Judge of the surprise of the Parisians who beheld thousands of 
small birds ranged on the roofs of the houses in the Rue de Rivoli ; 
the right wing towards the Hotel de Ville, the left on the Madeleine, 
And the centre on the Tuileries. The aristocratic birds, seized with 
panic-fear at sight of this demonstration, and dreading the loss of 
their power and position, despatched a fledgling of their number to 
address the rioters in these words : " Is it not well that we should 
reason together and not fight ? " 

The rioters turned their eyes upon me. Ah ! that was one of the 
proudest moments of my life : I was elected by my fellow-citizens 
to draw up a charter to conciliate all, and settle differences among 
the most renowned sparrows in the world, sparrows who for a moment 
were divided on the question " how to live," the eternal backbone of 
political discussions. 

Those birds in possession of the enchanting abodes of the capital, 
had they any absolute right to their property ? Why and how had 
caste become established 1 Could it last? Were perfect equality 
established among Parisian sparrows, what form would the new govern- 
ment assume 1 Such were the questions asked by both parties. " But," 
said the hedge-Sparrows, " the earth and all its riches should be equally 
divided." " That is an error," said the privileged ones ; " we live in 
a city, and are subject to the restraints, as well as to the refinement, of 
society ; whereas you in your condition enjoy greater freedom, and 
ought to content yourselves with the hedgerows and fields, and all 
that satisfies untutored nature." 

Thereupon a general twittering threatened to lead to hostilities, but 
the popular tumult with sparrows, as with man, is the labour-pangs 
of national deliverance, and brings forth good. A proposition was 
carried, to send an intelligent bird to examine the different forms of 
government. I had the honour of being selected for the post, and at 
once started on my mission. What would one not sacrifice for his 
country ? To tell the truth, the position was one which conferred 
both dignity and emolument. Let me now lay the report of my 
travels as an humble offering on the altar of my country. 



38 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



THE ANTS' FORM OF GOVERNMENT. 

After traversing the sea, not without difficulty and danger, and 
experiencing many of those adventures which take the place of genuine 
information in modern books of travel, I arrived at an island called 
Old Frivolity. Why it should be termed old I could never make- 
out, as it is said that the world was created all at once. A Carrion-Crow r 
whom I met, pointed out the government of the ants as a suitable 
model, so you may understand how eager I was to study their 
system, and discover their secrets. On my way I fell in with scores- 
of ants travelling for pleasure. They were all of them black and 
glossy, as if newly varnished, but utterly devoid of individuality, being; 
all alike. After, indeed, one has seen a single ant, one knows all the 
others. They travel coated with a liquid which keeps them clean. 
Should one meet an ant in his mountains, on the water, or in his city- 
dwelling, his get-up is irreproachable. Care is even bestowed on the 
cleanliness of his feet and mandibles. This affectation of outward 
purity lowered them in my estimation. I inquired of the first ant I 
met, " What would happen to you were you for an instant to forget 
your careful habits ? " He made no answer ; I discovered, indeed, 
that they never exchange a word with any one to whom they have 
not been formally introduced. I fell in with an intelligent Coralline- 
of the Polynesian Ocean, who informed me that she had been arrested 
by the fishes when engaged in raising the coral-foundation on which. 
a new continent was to repose. She mentioned a curious fact relating 
to the government of the ants, namely, that they confer the right upon 
their subjects to annex all new lands as soon as they appear above sea- 
level. I now found out that Old Frivolity was so named to distinguish 
it from New Coral-reef Island. I may mention in passing, that these 
are private confidences, and caution my noble constituents not to abuse 
them. 

As soon as I set foot on the island, I was assailed by a troop of 
strange animals government servants charged with introducing you 
to the pleasures of freedom, by preventing you carrying certain contra- 
band objects you had set your heart upon. They surrounded me r 
compelled me to open my beak in order that they might look down my 
throat in case I should be carrying prohibited wares inland. As I 
proved to be empty, I was permitted to make my way to the seat of 
the government, whose liberty had been so lauded by my friend the Crow, 



THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD. 



39 



Nothing surprised me more than the extraordinary activity of the 
people. Everywhere were ants coming and going; loading and unload- 
ing provisions. Palaces and warehouses were being built ; the earth, 







indeed, was yielding up all its finest materials to aid them in the 
construction of their edifices. Workmen were boring underground, 
making tunnels to relieve the traffic on the surface of the island. So 
much taken up, indeed, was every one with his own business, that my 



40 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

presence was not noticed. On all sides, ships were leaving laden with 
ants for the colonies, or with merchandise destined for foreign 
shores ; vessels were crowding into the ports, bearing produce from 
distant parts of the world \ messages were flashing from agents abroad, 
telling merchants of the abundance of products that might almost be 
had for the lifting. So clever are these ants in everything connected 
with commerce, that whenever they receive a message, they send off 
their vessels, laden with cheap wares which they sell to weak races at 
the highest market prices. Some semi-savage nations assert that the 
strong drink the ants export is too potent, and that the narcotic they 
extract from a certain plant, which is watered by the sweat of a servile 
race, affords a powerful stimulant to national decay, is, in fact, a 
physical and moral poison. To this, diplomatists reply that the trade 
is lucrative, that there is a demand for the narcotic, and that so long as 
the demand lasts the ants must supply it at their own price. There are 
those among them who abhor this traffic, and condemn it as a moral 
slave-trade, in so far as the effect of the narcotic on its consumers is to 
render them its bondsmen for life. These ants, curiously enough, pro- 
fess the Christian religion, and send propagandists to all parts of the 
world. For all that, I soon found out that many of them are idolaters, 
worshipping gods made of gold by themselves, and set up in shrines 
called banks ; other idols, called " consolidated funds," railway stocks, 
and generally sound investments, yield their owners a temporal good, 
and enable them to "live in clover." Other idols, again, when sunk 
in foreign loans and spurious companies, rebel and bring down all sorts 
of calamities on the widows and orphans of the most industrious ants 
of the island. There are those among them, whose avocation it is to 
make these images out of clay with such attractive ingenuity that, 
when set up to public gaze, worshippers flock to the shrines and take 
their glitter for pure gold; these gods are for "raising the wind," but 
they sometimes bring down a storm and are overthrown, crushing in 
their fall thousands of poor devotees. 

In the midst of the general activity I noticed some winged ants ; 
and, singling out one, inquired of the guard, "Who is that ant 
standing unemployed while all the others are labouring ? " 

" Oh," he replied, " that is a noble lord. We have many such as he, 
patricians of our empire." 

" What is a patrician ? " I asked. 

" They are the glory of the land, fellows with four wings who fly 



THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD. 41 

about in the sun, and are at their wits' end to know how to pass the 
time most pleasantly." 

"Can you yourself ever hope to become a patrician if you work 
hard?" 

" Well, no ; not exactly. The wings of patricians are natural ; they 




run in the families, so to speak. But artificial wings may be ingrafted 
by the sword of the sovereign for distinguished service ; these, how- 
ever, are never strong enough to enable the wearer to soar clear of his 



42 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

plebeian fellows into the high heaven of aristocracy. I must tell 
you that some of the four-winged order are almost indispensable 
to the state; they nurse the national honour, and plan our cam- 
paigns." 

The noble ant who had caused my inquiries was coming towards- 
us. The common ants made way for him ; these working ants of the 
lower order are extremely poor, possessing absolutely nothing. The 
patricians, on the other hand, are rich, having palaces in the ant-hills, 
and parks, where flies are reared for their food and sport. 

The ants display the tenderest regard for their offspring ; and to the 
care bestowed upon the training of the young they attribute their 
national greatness. It is astonishing to see the neuters watching over 
the young. In place of sending as some of our Parisian sparrows do 
their callow-brood to be nursed by birds of prey, they themselves tend 
the orphans. They, indeed, live for them, sheltering them from the 
cold winds that sweep their island, watching for the fitful gleams of 
sunshine to lead them out. These ant-neuters watch with pride the 
growth of the young lives, and the development of the instinct for war 
and conquest in the young brood ; not alone the conquest of lands and 
races, but the mastery over the elements of nature that informs them 
how to brave the worst storms, and build their wonderful ant-hills. 
These nurses, although tender-hearted, are proud, and will unflinchingly 
buckle the swords on to their favourites, and send them away to fight 
for fame, or die for their country. From the point of view of a 
philosophical French sparrow, all this seemed to me strangely conflict- 
ing, and on the whole a sign of defective national character. At this- 
moment the patrician ascended one of the city fortifications and said a 
few words to his subordinates, who at once dispersed through the 
ant-hill ; and in less time than I take to write I noticed detachments- 
issuing from the stronghold, and embarking on straw, leaves, and bits- 
of wood. I soon learned that news of a defeat had arrived from 
abroad, and they were sending out reinforcements. During the pre- 
parations, I overheard the following conversation between two- 
officers : 

" Have you heard the news, my lord, of the massacre of the inno- 
cents by the savages of Pulo Anto ? " 

" Yes ; we shall have to annex the territory of these painted devils,, 
and teach them the usages of civilisation." 

" I suppose it must be so ; our fellows will have some rough 



THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD. 43 

work in the jungle, and the expedition to punish a handful of bar- 
barians will cost no end of money, and some good lives." 

" As pioneers of progress, \ve must be prepared to sacrifice something 
for the common good, and our men are in want of active service. 
Besides, Pulo Anto is a rich island, and will yield a good revenue." 

This last remark was very much to the point, so conclusive, indeed, 
as to satisfactorily terminate the dialogue. Will it pay ? is the final 
question which settles all the transactions of this military and mer- 
cantile race. I imagined that the noble lord spoke of the " common 
good " in the sarcastic tone peculiar to his nation. This phrase meant 
the immediate benefit of the Ant kingdom, and the ultimate dis- 
appearance from the face of the earth of a weak neighbour. The ants 
carry the process of civilising a savage nation to such a degree of refine- 
ment, that the subliming and re-subliminginfluences of contact gradually 
cause the destruction of the dross of savagedom and the annihilation 
of race. It seemed to me that what the ants happen to like they look 
upon as their own, and make it their own if it suits their convenience. 
They extend their empire, and carry warfare and commerce into the 
ant-hills of their weaker neighbours. They wax stronger and richer 
year by year, while the nations with which they trade, many of them, 
grow weaker and poorer. 

I remarked to an officer that the aggressive policy of his government 
was much to be reprobated. 

"Well," he replied, "there may be truth in what you say, but we 
must obey the popular voice, open new fields for our commerce, and 
keep our army and navy employed." 

" You, sir, call this fulfilling a divine mission ; a foreign war is a 
sort of god-serid to keep the fighting ants employed. You go on the 
principle of the surgeon who cuts up his patients to keep his hand in, 
and his purse full. Such work ought to be left to the butcher." 

" Oh no ; you labour under a great mistake. I own we do some- 
thing in the way of vivisection, just as would the skilful surgeon to 
increase his knowledge, and enable him to heal the festering sores of 
humanity. When we find pig-headed ants or deaths-head moths " 

" What are pig-headed ants ? " 

" A species of insect devoid alike of reason and all the nobler 
qualities which we ourselves possess. I say, when we find them, it 
becomes our duty to use strong measures to raise their condition, or 
remove them out of our way." 



44 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

"Just as a physician who fails to effect a cure would feel justified in 
killing his patient ? " 

"Again, sir, you misapprehend my meaning. It is the custom of 
Parisian sparrows, when they clamour for liberty, equality, and 
fraternity, to kill each other, in order to purify the government. 
Having no real grievances at home, we find it convenient to redress 
our wrongs and seek for sweets abroad. Thus we preserve our inde- 
pendence, and confer a benefit on the world at large. My time is 
precious good morning ! " 

My noble constituents will readily understand how I stood petrified 
at the audacity of this fighting ant, who stoutly maintained that might 
alone was right, and that his corrupt form of government ought, 
forsooth, to be set up as a model. 

I had it in my mind to tell him that the chief successes of his 
foreign policy were effected by the subtile diplomacy of maintaining 
intestine divisions in foreign states. In this way the time of their 
enemies is fully occupied, and their strength weakened. 

But he retreated before superior force, well knowing that his argu- 
ments must be crushed by the criticism of a Philosophical French 
Sparrow. 

I afterwards learned that the officer had retired to his property in 
the country, "there," as the ants would say, "to practise those virtues 
God has imposed upon our race." 

The only good points about the government of Old Frivolity lie in the 
protection extended to the meanest subjects, and the way they manage 
the working neuters, in making them pull together to effect great ends. 
This latter would prove a great element of danger were it introduced 
among ingenious Parisian sparrows. 

I started much impressed with a sense of the perfection of this 
oligarchy, and the boldness of its selfish measures, and left regretting 
that in governments, as in individuals, close scrutiny reveals many 
defects. 



MONARCHY OF THE BEES. 

Profiting by what I had seen in the Ants' empire, I resolved in 
future to observe more closely the habits of the tribes, before trusting 
myself to princes or nobles. On reaching this new dominion I 
stumbled against a bee bearing a bowl of honey. 



, THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD. 45 

" Alas ! " he exclaimed, " I am lost." 

" Why ? " I asked. 

" Do you not see I have spilt the queen's soup, happily the cup- 
bearer, the Duchess of Violets, will attend to her immediate wants. I 
should die of grief if I thought my faults would not be repaired." 

" How came you to worship your queen so devoutly? I come from a 
country where kings and queens and all such human institutions are 
held in light esteem." 

" Human ! " cried the Bee ; " know, bold Sparrow, that our queen and 
our government are divine institutions. Our queen rules by divine 
prerogative. Without her wise rule we could not exist as a hive. 
SI le unceasingly occupies herself with our affairs. We are careful to 
feed her, as we are born into the world to adore, serve, and defend her. 
She has her sons and daughters for whom we rear private palaces. 
The latter are, too frequently, wedded to hungry, petty princes, who 
thus claim our service and support." 

" Who is this remarkable queen ? " 

" She is," said the Bee, " Tithymalia XVII., a woman endowed with 
rare wisdom ; she can scent a storm afar off, and is careful to lay in 
stores for severe winters. It is said also that she has treasures in 
foreign lands." 

Here a young foreign prince came forward, and cautiously inquired 
if we thought any of the young ladies of royal blood likely to want a 
husband. 

"Prince," said the working Bee, "have you not heard of the 
ceremonies and preparations for departure ? If you wish to court any 
daughter of Tithymalia you had better make haste. You are well 
enough in your appearance, although you could do with a new coat." 

I beheld a splendid spectacle. One of the princesses was about to 
be married. The pageant on which I gazed must have a powerful 
effect on the vulgar imagination, and wed the people to the memories 
and superstitions which are about the only links uniting the higher 
with the lower orders of society. 

Eight drummers in yellow and black jackets left the old city called 
Sadrach from the name of the first Bee who preached social order ; 
these were followed by fifty musicians, all of them so brilliant that 
one might have said they were living gems. Next came the body- 
guards armed with terrible stings. They were two hundred strong. 
Each battalion was headed by a captain, wearing on his breast the 



46 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 




THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD. 47 

order of Sadrach a small star of beeswax. Behind them came the 
queen's dusters, headed by the grand duster, then the grand tooth-pick- 
bearer, cup-bearer, eight little cup-bearers, and the mistress of the 
Eoyal House, with twelve train-bearers, and lastly, the young queen, 
beautiful in her maidenly grace, her true modesty. The wings which 
shone with great splendour had never yet served for flight. The 
queen-mother accompanied her, robed in velvet, aglow with diamond- 
dust. Musicians followed humming a hymn of praise composed for 
the occasion. After the band came twelve other old drones, who 
seemed to me to be a sort of national clergy. They were all alike one 
to the other, and buzzed uniformly and monotonously. About ten or 
twelve thousand bees marched from the hive, upon the edge of which 
stood Tithymalia, and addressed these memorable words to the 
multitude : 

" It is always with a new pleasure that I witness your flight, as it 

secures the tranquillity of my people, and that" She was here 

interrupted by an old drone who was afraid of the queen using 
unparliamentary language at least so I thought. Her Majesty 
continued " I am certain that, trained by our habits of thrift and 
industry, you will serve God and spread the glory of His name on the 
earth which He has so enriched with honey-yielding flowers. May you 
never forget the honour due to your queen, and to the sacred principles 
of our government. Think that without loyalty there is anarchy, that 
obedience is the virtue of good bees, that the strength of the state 
depends upon your fidelity. Know that to die for your queen and the 
church is to give life to your land. I give you my daughter 
Thalabath as queen. Love her well ! " 

This eloquent speech was followed by loud buzzing. 

As soon as the young people had left with the queen, the poor 
prince I had noticed buzzed around them, saying, "Oh most noble 
Tithymalia, unkind fate has bereft me of the power of making honey, 
but I am versed in economics, so if you have another daughter with a 
modest dowry, I " 

"Do you know, prince," said the grand mistress of the Royal House 
" that with us the queen's husband is always unfortunate. He is 
looked upon as a sort of necessary evil, and treated accordingly. We 
do not suffer him to meddle with the government, or live beyond a 
certain age." 

But the queen heard his voice and said, " I will befriend you, you 



48 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

can serve me ; you have a true heart, you shall wed my daughter, 
and lend your pious aid to the work of our kingdom/' 

This cunning prince, one of no mean power, had fallen in love with 
one of the fair princesses. 

There is one remark I have to make which has nothing to do with 
government, and that is, that love is the same everywhere. Here was 
a fellow who had winged his flight from a foreign land to bask in the 
sunshine of his true love, follow her from flower to flower, sip the 
nectar from the same cups ; to worship even her shadow as it flitted 
across the pale lily, or kiss her footprints on the dew-spangled rose. 
Ah me ! these thoughts send a tide of fond memories throbbing 
through my old heart. There is one thing certain, on my return, I 
must have a commission appointed to inquire into the nature of this 
passion among men and bees. 

My constituents will be pleased to learn that my fame gained me a 
reception in the palace. I had despatched a bee to inform Her 
Majesty that a stranger of distinction from Paris desired to be pre- 
sented to her. 

Before being led into the audience-chamber, several magnificent 
bees examined me to make certain that I carried no dangerous odour 
or foreign matter about my person to soil the palace. Soon the old 
queen came and placed herself on a peach blossom. " Great Queen," 
I said, " you see before you a member of the Order of Philosophical 
Sparrows, an ambassador sent to study the governments and organisa- 
tion of the animal kingdoms." 

"Great ambassador, wisest of birds, my life would be a dull 
one were it not for the cares of government and the events that 
compel me to seek retirement twice every year. Do not call me 
Queen or Majesty, address me simply as Princess, if you wish to 
please me." 

"Princess," I replied, "it seems to me that the machine you call the 
people excludes all liberty. Your workers do always the same thing, 
and you live, I see, according to the Egyptian customs." 

" That is true ; but order is the highest public virtue. Order is our 
motto, and we practise it, while, if men strive to follow our example, 
they content themselves with stamping the motto on the buttons of 
their national guards. Our monarchy is order, and order is absolute." 

" Order is to your profit, Princess. The bees on your civil list are 
all workers, and only think of you." 



THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD. 49 

" What else would you have ? I am the State ; without me the 
State would perish. In other realms order is freely canvassed, and 
each one follows it according to his own idea, and as there are as 
many orders as opinions, constant disorder prevails. Here one lives 
happily, because the order is always the same. It is much better 
that these intelligent bees should have a queen instead of hundreds 
of nobles as in the Ants' kingdom. The Bee world has so many 
times felt the danger of innovation, that it no longer seeks for radical 
change." 

" It is unfortunate," I said, " that well-being can only be obtained 
by a cruel division of castes. My bird's instinct revolts at the notion 
of such inequality." 

"Adieu," said the queen; "may God enlighten you! From God 
proceeds instinct ; let us obey Him. If it were possible that equality 
should be proclaimed, should it not be first among us whose duties 
serve a great end. Our affections are ruled by laws the most 
mathematical. But for all that, the hive and our various occupa- 
tions can only be maintained by our wise system of government." 

"For whom do you make your honey 1 ? for man!" said I. "Oh, 
liberty ! " 

" It is true that I am not free," said the queen ; " I am even more 
bound than my subjects. Leave my State, Parisian Philosopher, else 
you may yet turn some weak heads." 

" Some strong heads," I replied. But she flew away. When the 
queen was gone, I scratched my head, and made a peculiar sort of 
Flea fall out of it. Being a perfectly cosmopolitan bird, I was 
about to enter into conversation with this bloodthirsty intruder, 
but he had leaped for dear life. Gaining confidence, he returned and 
said : 

" Philosopher of Paris, I am only a poor Flea, who has made a 
long journey on the back of a Wolf. I have listened with profound 
interest to your remarks, and felt honoured while I sat upon your 
learned pate. If you desire to find a government modelled on 
your own principles, go through Germany, cross Poland, and make 
your way to Ukraine, where you will find, in the administration of the 
Wolves, the noble independence you require, and which you pointed 
out to that old twaddler of a queen. The Wolf, Sir Bird, is the 
most harshly-judged-of animals. Naturalists quite ignore his purely 
republican principles, for he devours those of them who may cross his 

D 



50 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

path ; but he cannot kill a bird, so you may safely trust yourself to- 
his hospitality, and perch on the back of the proudest of them." 

THE WOLVES' EEPUBLIC. 

Parisian Sparrows, birds of every clime, animals of the whole world,, 
and ye petrified relics of antediluvian reptiles and monsters, admira- 
tion would seize on you as it did on me, could you behold the noble 
Wolves' Republic the only one in which hunger is conquered This 
is what elevates the animal spirits. 

When I reached the magnificent steppes which stretch from the- 
Ukraine to Tartary, the weather was already cold, and I felt convinced 
that the privileges of the subjects must be great to compensate for 
living in such a land. 

I was met by a Wolf on guard. "Wolf," I said, "the cold is- 
chilling my blood. I shall die ; and let me tell you, my death will be- 
a loss to the world at large. I am a traveller of renown ! " 

" Get upon my back," said the Wolf. 

"Pardon me, citizen, I prefer to cultivate your acquaintance afar 
off. Perchance you wish to whet your appetite with such a dainty 
morsel as a Parisian Sparrow." 

" What manner of good would you do me, stranger ? Should I eat 
you, I should be neither more nor less hungry. You are evidently a 
studious Sparrow. You have burned the midnight oil, and offered up 
every drop of your blood on the shrine of science or literature. Skin, 
bone, and feathers. Ugh ! you would only trouble me in my empty 
stomach, and there study out at leisure the various odds and ends of 
my organisation. No, no ! get up ; give my mouth a wide berth ; sit 
on my tail, if you like the fur." 

Concealing my dread of his hungry fangs, I perched lightly on the 
tail, where I was not unfrequently disturbed by the tremor of his- 
emotions. 

Fellow Sparrows, the tail of a beast of prey is the safest perch, and it 
affords a true index of the play of passion in the brute. 

" What are you doing here ? " I said, to renew the conversation. 

" Well," said he, " we are awaiting some visitors at yonder castle, 
and intend to devour them, horses, coachmen, and all." Here the tail 
whisked so briskly that I had difficulty in keeping my feet. 

" That would be an extraordinary proceeding. Men, to be sure, are 



THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD. 51 

our foes, and you, no doubt, perform a useful function in keeping 
down their numbers. As they are Russians, you won't eat their heads," 
said I. 
" Why 1 " 
"It is said they have none." 

" What a pity ! That will be a loss to us, but that won't be the only 
one." 

"How so?" 

" Alas ! " said the Wolf, " many of ours will fall in the attack, but it 
will be in our country's cause. There are only six men, a few horses, 
and some provisions. Too few ! too few ! They won't serve for a 
meal to the right wing of our army. Bird, believe me, we are nearly 
famished ! " 

He turned and showed his fangs so hungrily that I almost fainted 
with fright. " We have had nothing to eat." 

" Nothing," I said, " not even a Russian ? " 

" No ; not even a Tartar. Those rogues of Tartars scent us two 
miles off." 

" Well, then, how do you manage ? " 

" The young and strong among us are bound to fight on an empty 
stomach. She-wolves, cubs, and veterans must feed first." 

"That is a fine point in the character of your Republic." 

" Fine ! " he said ; " why, it is only fair. We know no distinction 
other than that of age and sex ; all are equal." 

" Why," said I, " how can that be ? " 

" Because we are all of us the same in the sight of God." 

" And yet you are only a sentinel." 

" Yes, it is my turn to be on guard." 

" But, General," said I here the fellow pricked up his ears, and 
seemed immensely pleased with even the shadow of distinction carried 
in a name " to-morrow it may be your turn to command." 

"Exactly, that's how we square. Your intelligence, Sir Sparrow, 
does your nation credit. It is something like this. When in danger 
we meet together, and elect a leader, who, after the peril is passed, 
falls again into the ranks." 

"Under what peculiar circumstances do you meet ? " 

" When there is, say, a famine, to forage for the common good. In 
time of great distress we share and share alike. But do you know we 
are driven to the direst straits, when, as frequently happens, the snow 



52 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

lies ten feet deep on the ground ; when the houses are covered, and 
no food is to be had for months. Strange ! our stomachs grow 




smaller and we crowd together for warmth. We pull together wonder- 



THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD. 53 

fully. Since the Republic was formed, the wolves have abstained from 
devouring or destroying each other. This ought to make men blush. 
The wolves are each and every one sovereign. They govern them- 
selves." 

"Do you know, General, that men say sovereigns are wolves, and 
prey upon their people ? You will have no need of punishment in your 
land." 

"Yes, we have; when a wolf commits a crime he is punished. 
Should he not scent his game in time, or fail to secure it, he is beaten. 
But he never loses caste on that account." 

" I have heard tell that some of your wolves in office are secretly 
ravenous, devouring the substance of the country, and given to dividing 
the good things of government among their friends." 

" Hush ! Gently, please. These are matters of which we do not 
speak. The natural tendency of wolves is to feed on carrion, and 
when the body politic becomes corrupt, they perform the healthful 
function of licking the sores. It is only wolf-nature to seek such 
office and profit by it. One good feature in the Republic is, that a 
wolf is free to hunt down his own game, and when required, he may 
rely on the community.'' 

" This is indeed excellent," I replied, " to live and govern one's self. 
You have indeed solved a great problem." Yet I thought to myself 
that the Parisian Sparrows will not be simple enough to adopt such a 
system. 

" Hurrah ! " cried my friend, whisking me from his tail into the air. 
All at once from a thousand to twelve hundred wolves with superb fur, 
and agility wonderful to behold, arrived on the scene. I saw two 
carriages drawn by horses, and defended by masters and servants. In 
spite of the sword-blows that fell on all sides, and the wheels that crushed 
the assailants, the wolves fixing their fangs into the horses soon over- 
powered the caravans. The prey was portioned out. One skin fell to the 
sentinel, who devoured it greedily. Other valiant wolves were allotted 
the coats and buttons, and soon only six human skulls remained that 
proved far too thick and hard for the profane fangs of the destroyers. 
The corpses of the slain wolves were respected and became the objects 
of a strange usage. Hungry wolves lay concealed beneath them until 
such time as a flock of birds of prey had settled on them. These they 
deftly caught and devoured. This was a touching example of thrift, 
recalling the various modes by which men take a profit out of their 



54 PUBLIC AND PRIVA TE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

dead. I am told they set up tombstones over them, as baits for the world's 
applause. A man will inscribe on the stone which covers the remains of 
some poor wife sentiments of deep regret and undying affection, while 
his carnal eyes are bent on some pretty bird fluttering over him 
and sympathising with his grief. 

One thing struck me about the Eepublic, and that was the seemingly 
perfect equality of the people which arose, not so much from the nature 
of their government, as from the fact that by nature they are endowed 
with equal strength and instinct. The failure of human Eepublics 
arises out of the unequal intellectual and physical capacities of men. 
A more perfect system of education and a higher moral code, strictly 
observed by all, may one day bring man and man to the same level. 
Hereditary defects of character will then disappear, and all men will 
regain something of the perfect image of the God that created them. 
In the Wolves' Republic the weak ones go to the wall, die off, as the 
struggle for existence is severe, so severe indeed that only the strong 
survive. The young wolf is educated in warfare and suffering. 
Indolence and want of pluck are punished by starvation, as all must 
work, and it becomes a habit to toil, and to toil ungrudgingly. Ah 
me ! I almost despair of the task of reforming a country spoilt by 
luxury. Parisian birds, some of you are daintily fed on grubs and 
grain in golden cages, others, alas, have to pick up a precarious living 
on the streets. How shall we raise the poor to the level of the rich 1 
Raise them from their lowly perch and place them in palaces ? The 
wolves obey each other quite as heartily as the bees obey their queen, 
or the ants their laws. Liberty makes duty a slave. The ants are 
fettered by habit, and so are the bees. The Wolves' Republic possesses 
many advantages, for if one must be a slave to anything, it is better to 
obey public reason than to become the votary of pleasure, or the foot- 
ball of fate. 

I must own, whether to my shame or glory, as I approached Paris 
my admiration for wolfish freedom gradually diminished in the 
presence of refinement and while I thought of the priceless boon of a 
cultivated mind, the proud Republic of the Wolves no longer satis- 
fied me. Is it not, after all, a sad condition, to live on rapine alone 1 
If the equality of wolves is one of the sublimest triumphs of animal 
instinct, the war they wage against man, birds of prey, and horses, 
is a violation of animal right. 

The rude virtues of a Republic thus constituted depend alone on 



THE FLIGHT OF A PARISIAN BIRD. 



55 



war. Is it possible that the best form of government can be sustained 
by ceaseless warfare, by continuing to push one's conquests into the 
territory of weaker, simpler, and perchance more virtuous foes ? This, 
my philosophic companions, is the policy of the great country of the 
wolves. Better rather to die of hunger, while we, by our self-denial, 
add a single green leaf to the laurel-crown that decks the brows of our 
country. We are placed here on God's earth, not to destroy, but to 
build up His glorious works. Take this to heart, ye visionaries who 
seek to establish the edifice of peace on a foundation of vice and blood. 
However humble our lot, let us rather like the coral insects who, by 
their toil, build up the loveliest islands of the world seek to do our 
duty in our allotted spheres, that we may leave behind us an unsullied 
fame. 




AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINION? OF A 
PENQUJN. 



" Must one seek for happiness ? " I inquired of the Hare. " Search," replied 
he, but with fear and trembling. The Anonymous Bird. 

I. 

HAD I not been born in the- 
extreme South, beneath the rays 
of a burning sun, which helped 
to liberate me from my shell, 
and was quite as much to me 
as the brave Penguin which 
abandoned me to fate, I might 
have proved a happier bird ; but 
being, as I said, hatched under 
a tropic sun rather than a lucky 
star, I became an unhappy bird. 
I had a hard struggle to get into 
the world, as my shell was an 
uncommonly thick one. When 
at last I had found my way into- 
the light, I stood for some time- 
gazing at my prison with feel- 

ings not unmingled with surprise at the event which had introduced 
me to freedom. One, of course, has only a confused remembrance of 
those early days, and can hardly be expected to give a full account of 
the sudden change implied in birth. I have heard it said that men 
when they are born some of them smile blandly on the prospects 
that life presents to them ; while others, and they the majority, begin 
life with a wail of regret, the prophetic note of a sorrowful existence. 
Be that as it may, I remember, as soon as I was able to reflect, 




LIFE AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINIONS OF A PENGUIN. 57 

thinking how uncomfortable I must have felt, doubled up in a shell too 
contracted to admit of motion. The change was truly appalling. 
There lay the shell, to me a world which I had first filled and then 
broken, to find myself a mean tenant of immeasurable space. The 
prospect puzzled and hardly pleased me \ I had exchanged my little 
egg for one boundless in its infinity. Far from being modest, on 
finding myself in the world my first notion was that all I saw belonged 
to me, and that the sole purpose of the earth was to contribute to my 
support. 

Forgive the infantile pride of a poor Penguin, who, as the years rolled 
on, has been taught humility. As soon as I discovered the use of my 
eyes, I found myself alone in what proved to be the hollow of a great 
rock overlooking the sea. The rocks, the stones, the water; a boundless 
horizon around, immensity, indeed, and myself, in the midst of it all, 
nothing more than an atom ! I vainly inquired, " Why is the universe 
so large ? " and the echo from my empty shell answered " Why ? " The 
question had been asked before, and, as I afterwards learned, had 
never been more conclusively answered. A little world, quite a small 
one, filled by those alone who are devoted to each other's welfare, 
would have been more to my liking than this great gulf in which all 
seems lost, and hopeless confusion reigns, in which there is space 
enough and to spare, not only for those creatures who detest each 
other, but for nations whose conflicting interests cause endless strife, 
and allow full scope to the play of crime and passion. Penguins in 
general, and you my personal friends, would not a world framed for 
ourselves have been better ? a world with one low mountain bathed in 
sunlight, a tiny, leafy plain bordering the sea, carpeted with flowers, 
and shaded by fruit-bearing trees, in which a score of social birds 
might build their nests birds decked with gay plumage and bursting 
with song, unlike the poor Penguin whose lines you are now reading? 

These are vain imaginings, there is no such paradise for Penguins or 
any other creatures. There are fields and flowers, foliages and fruit- 
bearing trees, birds with bright plumage, and others with song ; but, 
alas ! the wide world shares their charms flowers here and fruit there, 
all so scattered and dispersed as to minister alone to the sport and 
pleasure of mankind. Yes, man alone has the power of making 
nature his slave, of bringing all these elements together, of rendering 
his mansions musical with the nightingale, his lawns gay with flowers, 
and his orchards glorious with varied fruits. 



58 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

Again I crave pardon, dear reader. The habit of dwelling alone has 
rendered me gloomy, and I forget myself, forget that I have no right 
to forget my humble lot and obscure destiny. 



II. 

I ought to say that my early isolation and ignorance tempted me to 
brood over the unattainable. Nevertheless, I claim credit for self- 
denial in pruning my introduction, as I might have dived deep into the 
miseries of solitude the solitude of my early days. The theme was a 
prolific one, which I should not have allowed thus to escape. It 
is so soothing to complain ; so comforting, indeed, as to pass for real 
happiness. 

I had not been alive a day before I learned what heat and cold 
were. The sun disappeared, leaving my rock as cold as an ice- 
berg. Having nothing to do, I began to move, and felt about my 
shoulders something I conceived must be intended for use. Stretching 
forth these little arms or wings with which Nature had endowed me 
(she has lived too long on her reputation of being a good mother, 
loving equally all her children), after prolonged efforts I at last 
succeeded in rolling from the top of my rock. Thus my first experi- 
ence in life was, as you see, a fall, which I speedily resented by digging 
my beak into the unsympathetic soil. This only increased my pain, 
and led to reflection. " It is evident," I said, " one ought to be careful 
about one's first step in life, and to reflect well before moving." I then 
inwardly pondered over my destiny as a Penguin, not that I had the 
faintest pretension to philosophy, only when one is forced to live, and 
one is not accustomed to do so, one must find out some rules of life. 

" What is good ? " 

"What is evil?" 

" What is life ? " 

"What is a Penguin?" 

Before I could solve these questions, my eyelids closed in sleep. 



III. 

Hunger rudely awoke me ! Forgetting my resolutions, strange as 
it may seem, I did not wait to inquire, "What is hunger?" but imme- 
diately proceeded to satisfy the craving by eating some shell-fish that 



LIFE AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINIONS OF A PENGUIN. 59 



were yawning before me. I ought to have first indulged in a disserta- 
tion on the possible danger of following this ancient custom. My 
inexperience was punished, for by dint of eating too fast, I was nearly 
choked. I have no notion how I learned to eat, to drink, to walk, 
and move to right or left, measure distances with my eye, to know 
that all one sees is not one's own ; to come down and ascend, to swim, 
to fish, to sleep standing, to content myself with little or nothing, &c. 
It is sufficient to say that each and all of those studies caused me 
countless troubles, fabulous misadventures, and unheard-of trials. 



IV. 

What are our duties in the world ? What will ultimately become of 
Penguins ? Where do we go to after death 1 Why were some birds 
created without feathers, some fish without fins, or animals without feet ? 

My worldly experience often tempted me to wish to return to my 
egg. One day, after profound reflection, I fell asleep, and during my 
repose heard a noise, which was neither that of the waves nor any 
sound to which I was accustomed. " Wake up ! " said the active part 
of my being, that which never seems to slumber, and is ever on the 
alert like a guardian angel to ward off danger. " Wake up, and you 
will behold something to rouse your curiosity." " Certainly not," 
said that other most excellent part of ourselves which requires sleep. 
"I am not curious, and have no desire to see anything. I have 
already seen too much." Still the other insisted, and I continued : 
"It would be wrong to break my slumber for anything spurious; 
besides you deceive me, the sound has gone. It is a dream ; let me 
sleep ! let me sleep ! " I really wished to sleep, stubbornly closed my 
eyes as best I might, and folded and fondled myself to repose with 
all those little cares common to sleepers. But, alas ! all was of no 
avail; I woke up. What shall I come to? I, who vainly thought 
myself the most considerable creature living, the only bird in creation. 
I sank into utter insignificance before the sight that met my gaze. 
There, before me, I beheld at least a dozen most charming creatures, 
some with expanded wings floating in mid-air, others diving into the 
waves, and again rising to display their snow-white plumage in the 
morning sun. Surely, I thought, these are the inhabitants of a 
happier and more perfect world. Had they descended from the sun 
or moon ? What unknown caprice had brought them to my rock ? 



60 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

They were endowed with a sublime mastery over the elements, skimming 
the waves as if to laugh at their fury, resting for an instant on the 
solid earth, and, as if disdaining its support, again cleaving the air 
with their glorious wings. So wrapt was I in admiring the grace and 
perfection of their movements, that jealousy never clouded my mind. 
At last, carried away by the ardour of youth, and the emotion with 
which the beautiful fills the breast, I rushed into their midst, exclaim- 
ing : " Celestial birds, fairies of the air ! " Here I had to pause for 
want of breath. 

" A Penguin ! " cried one of them. 

" A Penguin ! " repeated the whole band ; and as they all laughed on 
seeing me, I concluded that my presence gave them pleasure, and so 
I boldly introduced myself in the following words: "Ladies and 
gentlemen, you are right, I am a Penguin, and you are the fairest 
forms I have gazed upon since the hour I left my shell. I am proud 
of your acquaintance, and should like to join in your sport." 

" Penguin," said my lady friend who had first addressed me, and who 
appeared to be the queen, but who, I afterwards learned, was only a 
laughing Gull. " You do not know what you are asking, you may, how- 
ever, profit by experience. It shall never be said that such an elegant 
Penguin received a denial." She then gave me a flip with her wing 
which sent me reeling into the midst of the group, another did the 
same, and they all followed suit, flipping me about, first to one side, 
then to another. This was sport ! 

As soon as I could get the words out, I shouted, " Stop ! you are 
killing me." 

" Bah !" said they, " we are only beginning, hah ! hah ! Keep him 
warm. Keep the ball rolling." The sport began anew, and with such 
vigour that I soon fell to the ground thoroughly humbled and 
exhausted. The Gull who had first called me Penguin, and who had 
taken the lead in maltreating me, noticing my prostration, reproached 
herself for her conduct. 

Forgive us, my poor Penguin. You do not seem to relish our 
rollicking style, yet it is our nature, so pray do not blame us if you 
are hurt." She then came forward and bent over me with such a 
tender look, that, in spite of what she had just done, she seemed for the 
moment perfectly beautiful and good. 

But pity often comes of self-love, and is nothing more than regret 
for harshness. What I mistook for the dawn of affection was only 



LIFE AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINIONS OF A PENGUIN. 61 

sorrow for having done wrong. Thus, as soon as she saw me com- 
forted, away she flew with her companions. 

This sudden flight so startled me, that it was impossible to find a 




single word or gesture to prevent it, and again I was alone. From 
that moment solitude seemed insupportable. 



IV. 

To tell the truth, I was blindly in love, and savage at having done 



62 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

nothing to win a bride so beautiful. Why did I not exercise my 
blandishments 1 While pondering these things I wandered to the edge 
of a pool of water. It was placid and clear, reflecting only the blue 
heaven, until, bending down to dip and cool my fevered beak, I beheld 
my own image, and nearly choked as the picture of my unsightly propor- 
tions flashed on my mind. I left the mirror, and soon by reason of vanity 
forgot what manner of bird I was. Sleepless nights and miserable day& 
became my portion. Eagerly I listened to the whisperings of the wind, 
thinking that I heard the gentle sound of that lovely spirit of the air 
descending to soothe my troubled heart. Vain thought ! she never 
came, and worse luck, my appetite had gone with her. My only 
solace was the sea. There was something in the mournful voice of its 
waves, as they broke on the great rocks, that soothed me in my saddest 
hours. There was something in its immeasurable depth typical of the 
grief which overwhelmed me. 

The reader may feel inclined to smile at my vulgar and unpoetic 
proportions, nevertheless, let me remind him that God has so framed 
the world, that in the rudest and most unlikely forms among men and 
beasts repose the sublimest attributes. Thus human genius is seldom 
found mated with bodies of herculean type. So the sentiment of a love- 
sick Penguin can never be estimated by the appearance of its too solid 
body. 

V. 

" Suspense becomes intolerable, I can no longer bear it," I said, and 
cast myself into the sea to drown my sorrow in its mournful waves. 



VI. 

Unfortunately, I discovered how to swim, so my history does not 
end here. 

VII. 

When I rose to the surface one always rises two or three times 
before drowning yielding to my passion for soliloquies, I inquired 
what right had I thus to seek to destroy myself; if the world would 
not be just one Penguin worse off, had I met my end, &c. My 
soliloquy was long. I was drifting many leagues straight ahead ; now 
and again diving with the dire resolve of going to the bottom and 



LIFE AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINIONS OF A PENGUIN. 63 

remaining there. But for some reason I always found myself coming to 
the surface, and, to tell the truth, the air seemed all the more refreshing 
after each dip. Just as my seventh attempt at suicide had miscarried, 
I rose to find myself side by side with a creature whose simple 
unaffectedness won my heart at first sight. 

" What were you after below there, Mr. Penguin ? and where are you 
going ? " he inquired, bowing profoundly. 

" I hardly know," I replied. 

"Well," said he, " suppose we go together." 

I willingly agreed, and on the way related my misfortunes to him. 
When I had finished, he asked me if I had formed any plans for the 
future. "No," I said, "not any, still I have half a mind to travel in 
search of my lady-love, the Gull." 




" How came you to love a Gull ? You look a large solid bird 
enough. Why don't you devote your affections to one of your own 
decent stay-at-home kind 1 Depend upon it, the Gull, could you wed 
her, would only bring grief. She is puffed out with feathers, and 
ever on the wing ; she would soon desert you for one of her own 
kind." 

This seemed severe, and I replied testily, "There's no accounting 
either for tastes or for love. It came upon me like a sunbeam from 
heaven." 

"From heaven!/' said my companion. "Lovers' language! A 



64 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

strong light, this light of love ; and it has left a shadow of pitchy dark- 
ness somewhere, has it not ? " 

"Ah ! sir," I said, "you look dejected. My story, perchance, stirred 
up old memories." He said nothing, but wrapped in profound 
melancholy ascended a rock left dry by the tide, and I followed. There 
was such an air of profundity about him that I inquired what he was 
thinking about. 

" Nothing," he replied. 

" But who are you, whose silence is so eloquent 1 " 

" I am of the Palmiped family, and my name is Fool." 

" You, Fool ! " I cried. " Come ! " 

"Yes," he replied, ''I am so named in the world from my habit of 
minding other people's affairs and neglecting my own ; so sinking 
myself, what can I do for you ? Listen, my friend," said this 
sublime bird ; " not far from here is an island called the ' Isle 
of Penguins.' It is only inhabited by birds of your tribe. They are 
all of them equally ugly ; go there, and who knows, you may even be 
thought handsome." 

" Am I then so unsightly ? " said I. 

" Yes," he said, " you are as unlike the gull as the grub is unlike 
the butterfly." 

VIII. 

During our voyage, encountering a severe storm, we rode it tran- 
quilly on the breast of the billows, while great ships, freighted with the 
wealth of the world, were wrecked and lost before our eyes. It was 
pitiful to hear the shrieks of the perishing sounding above the tempest, 
men and women who had braved the dangers of the deep, some to 
seek happier climes, others, the riches they were doomed never to 
enjoy. 

At last through many dangers we reached the shores of the "Happy 
Island." 

" Let us pause here," said my sage companion, " and note the native 
mode of seeking what I hold to be a myth earthly happiness." 

Shaking ourselves dry, iny friend, who had studied geography, 
elevated his beak, and casting his eye along its line, took our position 
from the sun. The result was curious and instructive to navigators, 
and even to mankind generally, not to mention birds. According to 
our calculations, we had been availing ourselves of every slant of wind 



LIFE AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINIONS OF A PENGUIN. 65 

to push ahead, and, strange to say, reached land a hundred miles 
astern of the point we started from. Had we been men, pioneers of 
civilisation, gifted with a sublime belief in our own powers, we should 
have no doubt proved to our own satisfaction that we had made 
unheard-of progress. Men and mules, without knowing it, go as often 
backwards as forwards. 

My friend here remarked that the island was unknown, had never, 
in fact, found its place in any map. Our observations, therefore, cannot 
fail to prove useful. 

" Let us go inland. If you don't object 1" 

" With all my heart ; " and in my youthful ardour was about to kiss 
the happy soil. 

"There, calm yourself," said the Sage. "This is neither Peru nor 
the Penguins' Paradise. The name alone misleads you. This land, 
'Happy Island,' is so named because its inhabitants (all of them) 
inherit a furious desire for happiness, not because they are happy ; 
they spend their lives chasing a phantom, and when it seems nearest, 
they are swallowed up in the grave. These islanders cannot be 
brought to understand that wrong must exist, and that happiness may 
be obtained by redressing wrongs and grievances, and that the most 
one can do is to snatch moments of bliss from one's days and years of 
toil and sorrow. I have heard that men, after trying all sorts of new- 
fashioned receipts for happiness, fall back on the oldest plans, imagining 
they have discovered in them a new panacea for all earthly woes. 

" These curious islanders make self their god. They make it a rule 
each one to seek his own personal gratification, this plan is most 
ancient: love, sympathy, self-sacrifice, devotion, virtue, duty, are 
with them nothing more than words whose meaning has been long 
forgotten. Another rule is to avoid doing anything that will in any 
way mar one's enjoyment, or spoil one's ease. It will be seen that 
only the rich among them are able to carry out their principles to the 
full extent. Let us note how they manage affairs. Do you see the 
mansion over there 1 is it not beautiful ? In it the disciples of pleasure 
carry on their amusements. Let us look in ; we may learn something. 
Over the doorway we read in Latin, c Here we are, four hundred of us, 
all happy ' ; followed by a text from their sacred classics, Neutralise 
the influence of parents upon children, and all will go well.' " 

In the first room we came across a charming illustration of the text 
a number of showily-dressed, attractive-looking mothers, who refused 

E 



66 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



to sit on their eggs. Some of them had strolled into the garden to 
spend their time more usefully in flirting with dangerous-looking 




male friends. Somehow the poor little ones were hatched. "You 



LIFE AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINIONS OF A PENGUIN. 67 



unwelcome rubbish ! " said the mothers ; " now that we have 



8HOEMA KKlt, PARIS. 
IRON AND SON, 



SHOES FOR MEN 
AND BEASTS. 




had all the trouble of bringing you into the world, some one must 
nurse you we are otherwise engaged. We will return and spoil you 



68 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



later on, if we think of it." Guardians are found. A Weasel dis- 
played the deepest interest in the eggs, an Adder watched them 
tenderly as they were about to break, while Wolves feasted on the 
young to keep them out of harm's way. 

By far the most telling scene was met with in the schoolroom. 
There we saw bloated-looking Boars prosecuting their studies by lying 
on their bellies, or rolling over on their backs. Oxen, that had 
abandoned the plough, and Camels striving to make their neighbours 
carry their humps. 

Those who were not asleep were yawning, or going to yawn, or had 
yawned. All of them seemed profoundly dull. Near the centre sat a 
Monkey nursing his knee, who, with his head thrown back, seemed to 
be absorbed in his reflections. 

"Sir," I said, addressing him, "are these dejected-looking creatures 
around you happy 1 " 

"I fear not," was his reply; "although their sole pursuit is 
happiness, some of them are miserable enough. As for myself, I feel 
supremely uncomfortable on this confounded stool, but as governor I 
must keep awake." 

On our way we passed in front of the shop of a blacksmith, who 
was fitting a pair of carpet slippers to a tender-footed horse. Suddenly 
I said to my travelling companion, " I have had quite enough of this 
'Happy Island,' let us continue our voyage." 



IX. 

PENGUIN ISLAND. 

Two days later we reached Penguin Island. " What does that 
mean 1 " I said, on perceiving some two hundred individuals of my 
kind ranged as if in battle-array along the shore. " Are these troops 
intended to do us honour, or to prevent our landing ? " 

"Fear nothing," said my friend, "these Penguins are our friends. 
It is the custom of their country to parade the shores in flocks." 

We were received with much kindness, and conducted with great 
ceremony towards an old Sphemiscus, the King of the island. This 
good King was seated on a stone, which served as a throne, and sur- 
rounded by his subjects, who seemed to be all known to him. 



LIFE AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINIONS OF A PENGUIN. 69 

" Illustrious strangers," he exclaimed, as soon as he perceived us 
approaching, " we are delighted to make your acquaintance," and as 
the crowd around him barred our way, lie continued : " My children, 




range yourselves on one side, and allow the strangers to pass." The 
ladies stood on his right, and the gentlemen on his left. " You, sirs, 
are welcome to enjoy the freedom of our kingdom." 



70 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



I ventured to say, " Sire, your renown is the talk of the whole 
world, and the hope of seeing you alone sustained us through the 
perils of our journey." 

"Good !" whispered my friend; "you are a courtly liar for one so 
young ; but be careful, else you may die a diplomatist." 

My speech so pleased the King, that he cast off his Phrygian cap, 
descended from his perch, and clasped me to his breast, saying, " You 
are, for one so young, a bird most fair and honest. Remain with me 
to aid me in my old age." 

" Noble sir," I replied, " your knowledge of Penguin character is 
truly worthy of your fame. I will gladly accept your generous offer, 
trusting that my youth and inexperience may excuse my many 
shortcomings." 

" Stay, are you married ? " 

" No, your Majesty, I am a bachelor." 

" He is a bachelor ! " cried the King, turning towards the ladies, who 
at once, and for the first time, overwhelmed me with their fond gaze. 

" A bachelor ! a bachelor ! " cried a chorus of voices, " what a dread- 
ful creature ! " 

" Hush ! " said the King, "we have cured worse maladies. There is 
my daughter." 

" But, Sire," I protested, "my heart is lost to another." 

" The remark is worthy of your modesty. You shall wed my 
daughter; the notion suits me; it is a question of privilege, not of 
heart." 

I so little expected this proposal, that I remained mute with amaze- 
ment. 

" He who says nothing, consents," said the King. Before I had 
time to decide, my eyes met those of the princess. It was but for a 
moment. The god of love had kindled a perfect conflagration in her 
breast. Everything was arranged before I could say no, so engrossed 
was I with my own reflections. That momentary glance had 
evidently sealed my fate. So far as one's after-life is concerned, it 
had more effect in neutralising my happiness than if I had, from my 
earliest infancy, set myself the task of inventing the best means of 
blighting my peace. 

" Well," said the monarch, " look at your future wife. Are you 
not delighted? too happy to find words to express your joy? Is 
she not lovely?" The poor old potentate looked tenderly on his 



LIFE AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINIONS OF A PENGUIN. 1\ 

daughter, and with tears in his eyes, continued " You cannot know 
what I am offering, she is a good child, a good child ! and will make a 
dear wife. Not a single subject in my realm boasts smaller eyes, 
yellower beak, rounder form, or larger feet. She is indeed beau- 
tiful ! " 

The wedding was arranged, and we were married in great state. 
My wife's father paid all the expenses ; for in Penguin land kings as 
well as subjects have enough to marry and dower their daughters. 
'This was how I became the King's son, and how foolish marriages are 
made. My real troubles date from the close of the ceremony, as my 
wife was neither very handsome nor very good. 

X. 

I might finish here, but as I have gone so far, I may as well relate 
the bitter end. 

I dreamt one night that I beheld my first love, and that she 
beckoned to me to follow her. The whole scene was so vivid that 
when I awoke, I felt I could recognise the spot if it existed in any part 
of the earth. In a weak moment I resolved to start in search of this 
heaven and its goddess. At last, I left the Penguin shore, ostensibly 
on a diplomatic mission. For two whole years I searched the world 
over ; but in vain, until, just as 1 was giving up hope, I discovered the 
object of my solicitude on a sandbank, stooping over the filthy 
remains of a stranded Whale, in the society of a ragged, vicious-looking 
Cormorant, the meanest of birds. This then was the Gull of my 
-dreams ! the spirit of the air ! the ideal of beauty, the Peri, the sylph, 
whose seductive image had cursed my life. My eyes opened, but too late 
to discover how the fool mistakes the glitter of the basest metal for 
the lustre of pure gold. What would I not have given to crush the 
memory of my folly out of my heart ; to begin life anew, and ponder 
well the first false steps. Yet I reflected, all may be well, better far 
the bitterest truth than the sweetest falsehood. 

Setting sail for Penguin Island, I resolved never again to quit it 
shore, and to become a good husband, father, and prince. 

XI. 
On landing, I first visited the people, who were well, next, my 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



father-in-law, who, thank God, was better than the people. I then 




begap to look for my dear wife and, child, and good heavens ! I 



LIFE AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPINIONS OF A PENGUIN. 73 

found my family had increased to four. My wife, poor soul, had taken 
another husband, thinking I had deserted her. 

I at once repaired to my old friend and travelling companion, whose 
ability the King had sought to reward by making him Prime Minister ; 
but he refused to add to his cares that of office, and retired to live as a 
hermit on the top of a rock. He had chosen the highest rock in the 
realm, whence, far above the turmoil of the state, he bent his philo- 
sophic gaze on the lower world which he had abandoned to its fate. 
I felt much in need of sympathy and advice. After recounting my 
woes, the answer of the recluse sent a thrill of despair through my 
heart. 

" Bah ! " he said, " I am sick of all the aifairs of life. Each hour 
wounds, but happily, the last kills us. Forget your troubles. Arm 
your heart against the malignant influences that mar the peace of 
brutes and men. Why the devil should you be happy? (he was a 
profane bird). What have you done to merit happiness ? How fared 
you in your journey ? Have you seen enough of the world sinned too 
much ? Hah ! hah ! Is your punishment greater than you can bear ? 
Poor deluded Penguin ! you have been the football of our old enemy, 
fate. It must have been great fun for the old rascal, to mark 
your abortive attempts at heavenward flight with these half-formed 
wings. Hah ! hah ! what a capital joke ! " 

"You seem merry, my friend," said I, "your levity wounds me 
deeply." 

"Listen, my child," he replied. "You have spent the best of your 
days in vain pursuit of the unattainable. Depend upon it, the nearest 
approach to happiness is found in paths obscure and humble. Paths of 
duty along which kind Providence will ever act as our guide." 

" You puzzle me," I remarked, " your language is as changeable as 
English weather. At one moment you are a wicked bird, at another a 
moral philosopher." 

"Nay, friend," he said, "these are but the passing moods of the 
mind. I am told that men as well as birds have their moods. Even 
some most religious men, they tell me, wear a sombre cloak to con- 
ceal the sinful thoughts that are always present with them. They 
resemble the shells they employ in warfare; harmless enough, until 
thrown to the ground by some sudden shock of passion which fires the 
fuse and destroys them. It seems to me, in order to succeed in the 
pursuit of happiness you must prefer clouds to sunshine, rain to fair 



74 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



weather, grief to joy. You must possess nothing, and yet find yourself 
too rich, take all that is done as well done, all that is said as well said, 
believe nothing, and yet know everything. Dream while you are 
living, live in your dreams. After all when you feel really happy, 
have patience, and time will surely destroy the illusion." 

Here the philosopher paused for breath. 

Reader, if you are unhappy, let me counsel you to take warning from 
the life of a poor Penguin, who blighted his hopes by worshipping at 
the shrine of a false goddess. 







THE JL(A5T WoRD3 OF AN EPHEMERA. 

IT was the opinion of the savants of our race who lived in ancient 
times, many minutes, indeed, before we came into being, that this vast 
world would dissolve and disappear within eighteen hours. That this 
hypothesis is not without foundation, and at the same time worthy of 
the erudition of the ancients, I hope to be able to prove. The great 
luminary travelling through space has, during my own time, sensibly 
declined towards the ocean which bounds the earth on all sides. If, 
therefore, we base our calculation on the space traversed by the sun 
per second, it will be found that, before eighteen hours have elapsed, 
his fire will be quenched in the ocean, and the world given up to dark- 
ness and death. He has already passed the zenith. For all that, the 
moment when the bright disc will dip beneath the waves seems distant 
as eternity, when measured by the span of our lives. I myself have 
enjoyed several moments of existence, and feel age creeping on apace. 
I see children and grandchildren around me dancing in the joyous 
light. I may live a few seconds longer, and witness many changes ; 
yet my life has been so full of sad experiences, as to convince me that, 
in the course of nature, I must soon follow those who have gone before. 
In reviewing my past existence, while clearly discerning its failures 
and follies, I venture to hope that it has not been altogether misspent. 
My researches have contributed not a little to solve some of the 
problems connected with the most curious phenomena of hedge-rows 
and ditches, keeping altogether out of account the facts which I have 
established connected with the duration of the earth. I have applied 
the most refined analysis to discover the true constituents of the 
atmosphere, and the meteorological conditions which promote or 
destroy insect life. I could reveal secrets to mankind, to which their 
microscopes and spectroscopes can never afford the faintest clue. 
These are certain elements necessary to our existence only known to 
ourselves, as also the important functions we perform in carrying out 
the wise economy of nature. 

Men are blind to everything that does not, as they conceive, bear 



76 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



directly or indirectly on their own interest, and in their folly they 
imagine that our lives are worse than useless. They cannot perceive 
that we are ministering spirits of the air, sent by an all-wise Creator to 
correct abuses of which they themselves are the authors. But life is 
short all too short for the labour it implies. Alas ! my end draws 
near, and my friends console me by saying that I have done enough to 
earn lasting fame, and to promote the happiness of my race, until the 
eighteenth hour witnesses their destruction, and the wreck of this great 
plain which men call the earth. 




THE f3oRROW3 OF AN OLD TOAD. 







MY father was already well up in 
years and corpulence, when the joys 
of paternity came upon him for the 
last time. Alas ! his happiness was 
of short duration. My poor mother's 
strength was overtaxed with a dread- 
ful laying of eggs, and, in spite of the 
tenderest nursing, she at last suc- 
cumbed to the effort of bringing me 
to the light. I was brought forth in 
sorrow, and to this fact I attribute 
the deep shade of melancholy which 
has clouded my existence. I was 
always of a dreamy, contemplative nature. This, indeed, formed the 
basis of my character. The early days of my Tadpole life are wrapped 
in gloom, so dense as to render them void of incident. I can just 
dimly recollect my father, squatted beneath a broad leaf on the bank 
of a stream, smiling benignly as he watched my progress. He had 
always a soft, liquid eye, in whose depths I could read the love of his 
tender heart. His eyes were of a greenish hue, and protruded. This, 
taken together with his noble proportions, his enemies attributed to 
high living. He was in reality a contemplative Toad, whose greatest 
success lay in the cultivation of philosophic leisure. He carefully 
avoided the water, and, little by little, withdrew himself from the 
scene of my exploits. I am ashamed to say that his absence never 
caused me to shed a tear. I had two or three brothers about my own 
age, with whom I giddily threw myself into all the pleasures of life. 
It was a joyous time ! What would I not give to recall those fleeting 
hours of my youth, with all their happy experiences. Where is now 
the lovely stream, over whose dewy banks the reeds and grasses bent 
to watch the play of sunlight on its smiling face ? Where the crystal 



78 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

pools, the scenes of my adventures in an enchanted world ? the dark- 
bearded stones, 'neath which we followed many a giddy course, 
our hearts throbbed with fright as we came face to face with some 
motionless Eel, or touched the silver scales of a dreamy Carp ? I can 
recall the great fish, troubled in his sleep, viewing us with a quick, 
angry glance, until, perceiving our shame and confusion, he smiled , 
and we renewed our game. 

It is impossible to describe the pleasure of being rocked, caressed 
and fondled by the current as it pursues its tranquil course. Every 
ray of sunlight that found its way through the willows revealed new 
wonders. The dull, dead sand was glorified by the light until it shone 
like a bed of jewels. Myriads of creatures seemed to spring into life. 
The weeds flashed with a thousand hues, the hard-hearted pebbles 
flung back the rays with a brightness that pierced the deep recesses of 
the stony bed. 

Delirious with joy, how often have I not dived to mingle with the- 
light, to catch something of the fleeting charms it scattered so lavishly 
around. At such times I completely lost my head. (Pardon me, 
dear reader, should I seem to exaggerate ; a Tadpole who has lost his 
head must make the most of his tail, as he has nothing more left to 
him.) We then thought ourselves indomitable, pursuing shoals of 
microscopic fish that sought and found shelter beneath the stones. 
But the huge Spiders, walking on the water and devouring all they 
came across, afforded rare sport. Gliding cautiously up behind, we 
used to lick the soles of their feet, and dart off, amazed at our own 
audacity, to seek cover beneath the shade of lily leaves. I have 
passed whole days under those leaves, examining with the profound 
admiration of youth, the delicacy and beauty of their configuration. 
In each one of their pores I discovered little lungs, and such a 
marvellous organisation, that I dared not touch them, so much was I 
moved by the notion that, like ourselves, they must have feeling as 
well as vitality. These reflections intensified my curiosity to such a 
degree, that I made my way among the roots to try and find out the 
secrets of plant life, and see for myself the source of so much beauty. 
It seemed to me .that the water-lily was a perfect type of goodness. It- 
ungrudgingly displayed its charms to the gaze of the world, at the 
same time sheltering with its broad leaves the tenderest forms of life^ 
Flower, leaves, and root alike refused to yield up their secrets, and yet 
though silent, every detail of their form was eloquent with the praise 



THE SORROWS OF AN OLD TOAD. 79 

of their Creator. Thoughts of the good fellowship subsisting between 
plants and animals brought tears to my eyes, which I suppose I must 
have shed and thus swollen the stream beneath which I was submerged. 
All those things made a permanent impression on my mind, although 
I have had my days of scepticism, when it appeared to me that disorder 
and misery were the ruling powers of the world. As my age advanced, 
my powers made corresponding progress ; strange longings for a higher 
state of development filled my head, while my tail shortened and 
responded more and more tardily to its office of oar and rudder. 
Sharp pains shot through my posterior, ending in the growth of feet 
and lungs. In truth, I was becoming a Toad ! The transformation is 
not without its moral significance. New members brought with them 
obligations to which I was a stranger, hardly knowing how to use the 
attributes Providence had placed at my disposal. 

One day, I descried on the bank of the stream a Goose and her 
family about to take their daily bath. The scene was not new to me, 
but the emotions which filled my breast differed from anything I had 
experienced. The Goslings were lying all of a heap on a tuft of fine 
grass, and from my point of view, presented a confused mass of down, 
gilded by the sun. Here and there a little yellow beak might be seen. 
But the immobility of their position, and the utter abandonment of their 
postures informed me of their perfect contentment and tranquillity. 
The young brood was steeped in sleep, while the mother, bending a 
tender, watchful eye over them, uttered a sound so touching to their 
hearts, that every eye blinked, and every beak opened with a joyous 
quack. 

" Good morning, mother," they seemed to say, " Is it time for our 
bath 1 " 

" Yes, lazy little ones. Do you not hear the music of the stream, 
or feel the heat of the mid-day sun ? Your heads are exposed to its 
scorching rays." 

" O mother ! don't disturb our rest," they replied. " You have no 
notion of our comfort. The drowsy humming of the bees, the languid 
nodding of the harebell, and the scent of the new-mown hay are 
soothing us to sleep." 

" Hush your silly prattle and wake. A little courage, a little self- 
denial, my dears, and up with you." 

This was too much for the Goslings who slowly separated, presenting 
a confusion of pink feet, plushy wings, and golden beaks most inter- 



8o 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



esting to behold. Some rolled over and over in their attempts to gain 
their legs. At length they succeeded, and went waddling, and 
wagging their stumpy tails streamwards. When they reached the 
water's edge, after many hesitations, strivings, and chatterings, they 
at last stretched their necks and entered boldly to float with the 
current. 




" Strike out, my dears," said the dame. " Heads erect, mind. It is 
supremely vulgar, my children, to bend the head unless to pick up 
something to your advantage. Kick the water bravely ; it is made to 
serve you." 

It was a beautiful sight, and I was about to ask permission to 



THE SORROWS OF AN OLD TOAD. 8r 

make one of their number, when the mother, in passing, haughtily 
tossed her beak in the air, saying, " Avoid slimy toads, and all such 
creatures their presence is defiling ! " 

Judge, dear reader, of my pain and surprise. I dived into a dark 
pool to drown my wounded pride. When I again came to the surface, 
the interval had transformed me into a truly melancholy toad. A 
large spider, with whom I had become acquainted, passed over my head, 
smiling kindly at me ; but he won no responsive smile. Feeling need 
of breath, I mechanically sought the bank, and was startled by a hoarse 
voice shouting 

" Confound you, reptile ! " I turned, and perceived a gay personage 
decked in blue and gold a Kingfisher. " What are you doing there, 
stupid ? You with the four superfluous feet, body, head, and eyes. 
You slimy scoundrel ! Don't you know your vile presence poisons the 
stream ? Get out, else I will swallow you like a gudgeon. Ugh ! " 
I thought he was going to be sick. " Make off, you frighten my 
clients." He was a fine-looking fellow, the colour of heaven itself ; 
but with a voice like a lawyer, or the devil. To tell the truth, I was 
so afraid of him that I made for the bank. When fairly out of the 
water, I leant over its surface to return thanks for all the pleasure it 
had afforded me. To my horror, I beheld at my feet a strange mis- 
shapen thing, bearing some likeness to my father. I moved my head, 
it did the same ; I raised my feet, it imitated the motion. 

" Hah ! hah ! " shrieked the Kingfisher, " you lovely coquette ! what 
do you think of your beautiful proportions ? " 

" What ! " I said, " is that my image ? " 

" Yes, my treasure ; are you not proud of the picture 1 " 

It was all too true. There I was, and the willows above me as a 
frame, and the blue heaven as a background to my poor image. 
Well, after all, I thought the pure mirror of the stream was perhaps 
my truest friend, as it taught me to know myself. Bidding adieu to 
my former haunts, I turned my back upon the stream, and soon felt 
humbled and forsaken. My departure was quite unnoticed. The river 
went on its way as before, not a single blade of grass, not an insect 
moved to wish me a happy journey. Could I then be so completely 
dispensed with, I who at. first had thought the world all my own 1 I 
felt so ashamed of giving offence that I asked pardon of the King- 
fisher, who replied 

" Go to ! " I dare not repeat his answer, it was of such a nature 

F 



82 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

as to convince me that he was a bird of the world. Day began to- 
decline, and feeling fatigued, I sat down to rest. Being of a dreamy 
disposition, I found pleasure in contemplating nature. In front was a 
forest wrapped in a veil of purple mist, behind which the sun was- 
setting and shooting its rays like fiery arrows through the leaves. 
Above, the calm sky was of a pale green hue, so soft, so full of tender- 
ness, it filled my breast with the feeling that after all I was not 
forsaken, and gave me courage to live on. Pray do not set me down- 
as a foolish toad, living on the pleasures of imagination. It is in such 
follies as these that I have found the chief joys of my life. The dis- 
inherited ones of earth must gather consolation where they can. The 
air was hushed, the flowers and grasses sparkled with dewy gems, the 
birds had sought their evening perches, and were singing each other 
to sleep. All around were crowds of little beings, pushing on to their 
homes, tired of the business of the day and covered with dust. Some 
one, doubtless, was waiting and watching for the return of each insect 
wanderer. Such thoughts as these again weighed down my heart with 
a feeling of utter loneliness and despair. Happily, not far from where- 
I stood, I perceived a hole between two roots, which I prudently- 
approached, and timidly feeling the walls, I entered. Surely, I thought, 
this will prove a quiet resting-place, when I heard a regular mono- 
tonous noise resembling some one snoring. 

" Who is there 1 " cried a gruff voice ; at the same moment I 
felt a sharp prick in my hind-quarters. 

" I am a young toad, sir, not long out of the water." 

" Oh, horrors ! " continued the voice. 

"Forgive my intrusion, I will leave your house." My eyes had 
become accustomed to the darkness, and I made out my adversary to- 
be a jagged ball a porcupine, would you believe it ? This redoubtable 
personage was rather good to me. The stab with his quills, which 
had nearly killed me, still causes great suffering in damp weather. On 
my assurance that I did not snore, he allowed me to pass the night in 
his quarters. After he had a fair view of me, he cried 

" You are ugly ! and that is drawing it mild. You are ugly, feeble, 
clumsy, impotent, silly ! " 

" Yes," I murmured, for I felt he spoke the truth. 

"You little affected monster, do not add to your ridiculous appear- 
ance by simulating wisdom and modesty. You are neither rich 
enough nor independent enough to indulge in such vanities. You are 



THE SORROWS OF AN OLD TOAD. 83 

doomed to be hated, strive to hate in return, it will give you strength, 
and when one is strong, one is joyful. Should any one approach you, 
spit at him ! Resent even a look by your noxious spittle. Show your 
spots, your wounds, your slimy horrors. Make men flee and dogs bark 
at your hideousness. May the hatred of others be a shield to you. 
You, if you are not a fool, will find joy in hating. Be proud of your 
horrible envelope, as I am of my quills, and above all, do as I do love 
no one." 

" If you do not love me a little " here he burst out laughing 
"just a very little, why do you give me such good advice \ " 

"Why, my simple friend," he said, "I do not love you. You 
amuse me, since the role, you are about to play resembles my own. My 
enemies will be yours also. Don't you see that the prospect of wounding 
their superfine feelings through such an ugly medium affords me a new 
pleasure ? Let us be mutually accommodating, a joint-stock thorough 
nuisance to all who affect to loathe what God has made for some good 
end. I hardly know what I am made for, and next to erecting my 
quills offensively, like the bayonets on which some thrones are built, 
my chief happiness consists in doing nothing." 

These maxims seemed odious to me. I had no hand in making my- 
self, otherwise my mouth should have been more contracted, and my 
stomach less capacious. Had I been consulted, I hardly think I 
would have chosen a " fretful porcupine " as my model, nor yet my 
father, poor old toad ! who lived a contented sober life, and died 
regretting that his paunch had reached its fullest rotundity. It was 
no fault of mine that I inspired horror. If ugly and deformed, I was 
endowed with a profound love of the beautiful, which compensated in 
some measure for my awkward appearance, and, if I may use the 
expression, with a merciful provision of vanity, which enabled me 
ever to admire and cherish my own body. If my body was all too 
solid to respond to my every wish, yet my dreams and imaginings were 
unfettered as the wind. The reader, if he cares to study the habits of 
such an humble creature as the toad, will discover much truth in what 
I say ; moreover, if he be an ill-favoured person, he may find comfort in 
my philosophic view of life. 

A love-sick toad may be deemed by some an object worthy of 
ridicule ; nevertheless, as my romantic experiences form one of the 
most eventful pages in my history, I am bound to take the reader into 
my confidence. 



84 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

I had reached that period of development when, rejoicing in the 
strength of youth and the full maturity of my faculties, I leaped from 
place to place, not without aim, as many might suppose, but in the 
pursuit of knowledge, frolic, or recreation. The sun shone brightly, 
grass and flowers were in full bloom around, breathing an intoxicating 
perfume into the midday air, when I first beheld the object of my 
dreams. My enemies may think me a plagiarist, and that I have lifted 
my sentiment from some modern novel. All I can say is that my book 
is nature, which I recommend to the study of writers of fiction, many 
of whose works would poison the morals of toads, for these prefer 
unadorned truth to the gaudy tinsel of the literary showman. 

My love was bewitching in her dress of pale green. Oh how fondly 
I followed her with my eyes as she leaped from leaf to leaf, until at 
last I beheld her against the sky, her silken wings spread out to their 
fullest, descending lightly on to a blade of grass, which bending, swayed 
to and fro in the breeze ! Flying in the air, toying with the flowers, 
making them quiver on their stems without soiling a single petal, skim- 
ming the placid water, admiring her own image on the wing, this fair 
creature won my heart. Vainly I strove to court her glance, forgetful 
that a vile toad in love is no more pleasing to the eye than a toad in 
grief or any other mood. At last she turned towards me, and in 
that weak moment I tried to smile, thinking I should look less repul- 
sive. Alas ! I discovered that my capacious mouth, bloated-looking 
eyes, and unyielding physiognomy, were powerless to respond to the 
sentiment of my heart. Besides, my pretty grasshopper failed to see 
me, or mistook my form for a clod of earth. Soon a deep shadow fell 
across me, and turning, I perceived a chubby boy advancing slowly, 
cautiously, armed with a huge net at the end of a long stick. I 
had already frequently observed him trying to catch butterflies and 
winged insects. When one of these poor, pretty, perfect little things 
escaped him, he lost his temper with his coveted prize, and savagely 
continued pursuit, crushing the first victim that fell to his net. I said 
to myself, " This is horrible ! To this boy it appears a crime for an 
insect to strive to escape death. What have they done to warrant 
such a fate ? They have not even the misfortune to be ugly." This 
cruelty had such an effect on me, that one night I dreamed I saw large 
toads become light and mobile, catching men-children in their nets, and 
pinning them to the trunks of trees. I accepted the dream as a bad 
omen, and rightly, for not long after I descried the child coming to- 



THE SORROWS OF AN OLD TOAD. 85 

wards the grasshopper, and divined that he was bent on capturing my 
lady-love. Not a moment was to be lost. I saw the danger, calculated 
my distance, and leaped just to the spot where the boy's foot fell ; he 
slipped on my back and rolled to the ground. 

My love escaped from the snare ! But I suffered greatly, having one 
of my hind-feet crushed and broken ; yet, in spite of my agony, it was 
the sweetest moment of my life. The child got up crying, and seeing 
the cause of his fall, ran off in terror, only stopping in his flight to cast 
a stone at me. Happily he was as unskilful as wicked, and I was left 
with only a few scratches. My heroine, who had taken in the whole 
situation, came towards me accompanied by many friends. I should 
have preferred her being alone. Her companions were daintily dressed, 
perfumed with the fine essence of flowers, and seemed to be led 
towards me more by curiosity than compassion. When they had 
gathered around, I raised my eyes in hope of the happiness that I 
thought awaited me. 

" Is it this poor wretch, did you say, my darling, who was crushed ? " 
murmured a grasshopper in the tone of one about to perform a very 
disagreeable duty. " Oh ! ah ! This is really disgusting. Mark the 
creature's wounds how horrible ! If one were not sustained by 
elevated sentiments, one would feel inclined to quit the scene. Oh, the 
hideous monster! Is it not strange that heroism should appear in 
such ignoble guise 1 " 

Here this heartless drivelling fool stroked his chin with his foot and 
looked as if he had said rather a good thing. My grasshopper-goddess 
laughed affectedly, and I think made a sign to them to fetch her the 
strongest perfume to stifle the odour of my bleeding body. Addressing 
me, she said, " Say, my good fellow, why did you render me this 
service ? Do you know that yours was a fine action ? " 

The moment had arrived for me to cast myself at her feet and pro- 
claim my love, and I stammered out, " Willingly would I have sacri- 
ficed my life to save you, my love ! my treasure ! my " 

Sad to relate, my voice was drowned in the coarse laughter of the 
lady and her foolish friends. 

" Upon my honour," said one, *' this is a gay toad ! " " Hah ! hah ! 
a mangled toad in love!" roared another. "Isn't he a romantic- 
looking creature 1 " inquired a third. " Come, ladies, one of you waltz 
with him. Nay, don't go too near, I think he has teeth." 



86 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

They then walked round and examined me with their glasses in the 
most insulting manner. 

"I find him less hideous than grotesque," murmured the queen. 
"It is his head that is unique. Why, his face is enough to make the 
daisies yellow, and freeze the swamps with fright ! Have you all seen 
his eye 1 " 

" Yes ! yes ! his eye," they replied, " is very strange ! very strange ! " 

Could anything be more galling to ray pride to be thus made the 
butt of these hateful fools? Had they stabbed me to the heart, I 
think I should have survived in spite of them, but their jeers and 
laughter made me die a thousand deaths. Under the dominion of 
proud sentiment (of which I am now heartily ashamed), I raised my- 
self on my bleeding foot and addressed the grasshoppers. 

"I ask you for neither pity nor recompense. You yourselves 
witnessed " 

" Listen ! " said one ; " he speaks well, although thick, like a person 
in liquor." 

"This is horribly interesting." 

f< You witnessed," I continued, almost fainting, " an act of devotion. 
I loved " The hilarity burst forth anew, and the grasshoppers, no 
longer able to control themselves, joined hands and danced round me 
like a troop of green devils, singing 

" Hail, lover, hail ! joy to your tender heart." 

They certainly enjoyed themselves thoroughly that day. After all, 
they had only obeyed their nature, and I had mistaken my own. 

I had fully proved my own vanity and stupidity at least, that was 
the opinion of my friend the Porcupine, who that night drove me out 
of his den. 

From that time I felt myself an outcast, and sought humbly to win 
the favour of my own kind by making myself useful in my own proper 
sphere. I became almost a creature of the night, and lost sight of 
much of the beautiful that had charmed me, for the world is full of 
beautiful things to those who can look out of and beyond themselves. 
It boasts also fortunate beings whose lives would be all the more happy 
if they would only consent, now and then, to yield up one of their 
joyous hours to gladden the hearts of the poor. I ask you, dear reader, 
is it not so 1 You may be a creature, charming in person, refined in 
manner, and successful. Their attributes, as you use them, may make 



THE SORROWS OF AN OLD TOAD. 



you either a god-like ministering spirit in the world, or a fascinating 
fiend. Your strong sympathy and timely help may lighten the burden 
of the poor, may cause a deformed brother to forget his deformity and 
delight in your beauty as much as if it were his own. There would 
be no plain-looking or even ugly creatures to curse the day of their 
birth, were there no cruel, well-favoured observers to wound them 
-with their looks and gestures. But I am forgetting the lesson 
-which I myself learned late in life. I had put myself in the way of 
finding out by experience that a poor toad could never have wings, 
nor, though everything is fair in love and war, could he hope to win 
the heart of a grasshopper. 

I am now full of years and philosophy ; my wife, like myself, is a 
contemplative full-bodied toad, in whose eyes I am perfectly beautiful. 
I must own my appearance has greatly improved. The like compli- 
ment cannot be honestly paid to my mother-in-law, who has caused me 
no small trouble. She increases in age and infirmities. The reader 
will pardon my repeating, that notwithstanding my rotundity, I am no 
longer ugly. Should he have any doubt on this point, let him ask 
my wife ! 




THE THEATRICAL CRITIC. 



MY DEAR MASTER, 

OU must feel alarmed during 
this hot weather at seeing the 
walls inscribed with " Death to 
poodle-dogs," having yesterday,, 
with your own hand, sent me 
adrift without either muzzle- 
or collar. You knew that I 
wanted my liberty ; I was in- 
deed constrained to beg of you 
to let me go by what you would 
term " some subtle indescrib- 
able impulse." To tell the truth,, 
the conversation you carried on 
with your friends about Boileau,. 
Aristotle, Smith's last book, and 
the " five unities," proved dulL 
I listened to you as long as I 
could, then yawned, and barked 

as if I heard some one at the door. Nothing would for one instant. 
draw your attention from scientific discussion. 

You even pushed me off your knee just as you had clinched an 
argument by pointing out that the ancients were always the ancients. 

It was truly unkind of you to persist in remaining indoors when duty 
and inclination called me abroad. At last you let me go. I had found 
on the table an order for a stage-box in the Theatre of the Animals, a 
glorious place where they were only' waiting for you and me. For two 
reasons I will refrain from writing down a full review of the play^: 
first, because I am only a novice in the art ; and secondly, because you, 
my master, gain your bread by descriptive writing. How could you 




THE THEATRICAL CRITIC. 



89 



cram your paper daily if you had not at hand all the stock phrases of 
dramatic criticism? As for myself, I feel rich in the mine of poesy 
that prompts every wag of my shaggy tail. 

I should be an ungrateful dog if I robbed you of your capital. Your 
imagination I have nothing to find fault with, seeing that your greatest 
successes, as a dramatic critic, were penned on plays you never took 
the trouble to witness. 

I made my wa} r to the theatre on foot, for the weather was fine. I 
came across some agreeable acquaintances on the way, all going with 
their noses to the wind. The bulldog at the door respectfully inclined 
his head as I entered the box and threw myself carelessly into a chair, 
my right foot on the velvet cushion in front, and my legs resting on 
a couch. This graceful attitude you yourself assume when preparing 
to sit out, or sleep out, a five-act play. 

I had hardly been seated two minutes when the orchestra was 
invaded by musicians. These personages were the gayest to behold. 
The flute was played by a goose, while a donkey struck the harp asinus 
ad li/ntn), wrote some erudite poet. A turkey clacked in E flat. The 




symphony began, and resembled those of which you speak so enthusi- 
astically every winter. The curtain then rose, and my troubles as a 
critic commenced. 

It was a very solemn drama, written by a sort of greyhound, or half- 



93 PUBLIC AND PRIVA TE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

greyhound and half-bulldog, a half-English half-German animal, who 
liad entered the Dogs' Institute of Paris. 

This great dramatic poet, whose name is Fanor, has a way of manu- 
facturing dramas as ingenious as it is simple. He first goes to Mr. Puff's 
Pug and demands a subject, next he makes his way to Mr. Scribe's 
Poodle and engages him to write it. When the play is put on the 
stage, he employs six pariahs to applaud it, brutes they are who bark 
savagely. He is a wonderful fellow. Fanor wears his coat well 
brushed and most artistically curled, altogether he is just the sort of cur 
to wait upon rank and bow it into the boxes. 

The play was said to be new. Let us skip the first scene. It is 
always the same' servants and confidants explaining the nature of the 
crimes, griefs, intrigues, virtues, or ambitions of their masters. 

Do you know, my master, it was perhaps a great mistake to remove 
the muzzles of our poets. The traffic in the sublime has been left to 
an unmuzzled race of poodle-dog poetasters. It was not so with the 
ancients who wore the bands of art, and who dwelt far from the common 
crowd within the temple of the Muses. As well-fed watchdogs, they 
were thus restrained from poking their noses into the accumulated filth 
of history. 

There is more in the muzzle than one would think. It is a safe- 
guard against the spread of the hydrophobia of literature, so prevalent 
in our own times, and requiring all the bullets of cold-blooded critics 
to keep it in check. Evils other than the unnatural howlings and riot 
of modern tragedy are caused by liberty. There is an unearthing of old 
bones, which are scraped, polished, and displayed as the product of 
that modern genius the nineteenth-century dramatist, who with tragic 
instinct consigns the memory of their real owners to eternal death and 
oblivion. 

The tendency of some grovelling dogs thus to become resurrectionists 
is too well known to require further comment at my hands. Death to 
those who before us said what we will to say, " Pereant qui ante nos 
nostra dixerunt/" 

Little by little the plot expanded. When the pugs had revealed all 
their masters' secrets and hidden thoughts, the masters themselves ap- 
peared, and in their turn gave us the paraphrase of what had preceded, 
together with the culmination of their passions. If you only knew 
how many odious persons I beheld. Imagine two old foxes in mourning 
for their tails : these with a couple of superannuated wolves, recumbent, 



THE THEATRICAL CRITIC. 91 

and gazing vacantly around ; a pair of badly-licked dancing bears, waltz- 
ing to soft music ; weasels with frayed ears and gloved hands, made up 
a staff of threadbare comedians, all professing their loves and passions 
on the stage. Yet I am told that outside the theatre door they would 
tear each other's eyes out for a leg of mutton or horse's ham. But I 
had for the moment forgotten that the secrets of public life should be 
carefully walled around, so I dutifully returned to my analysis, in, I 
own, a roundabout sort of way. The language was not very intelligible. 
It was all about the sorrows of unfortunate Queen Zemire and her lover 
Azor. You have no notion of the singular and unaccountable stuff 
crowded into this hybrid composition. 

The beautiful Zeinire is a Queen of Spain, descended from a noble 
stock, counting among her ancestors a jolly dog named CaBsar. 

In the back-kitchen of the castle, and in the noble role of turnspit, a 
mangey animal, but withal a worthy fellow, named Azor, turned the 
queen's spit (while Queen Zemire had turned his head). He says 

" Belle Zemire, vous, blanche comme 1'hermine, 
O mon bel ange & 1'ceil si doux 
Quand done h, fin prendrez-vous 
En pitid mon amour, au fond de la cuisine," &c. &c. 

These verses, improvised by the pale light of the lamp, were found 
admirable. The friends of the poet exclaimed, " Ah ! sublime ! They 
are perfumed with the profoundest sentiment ! " In vain the linguists 
curs, griffins, and boars sought to criticise. "Why," said they, 
*' should kitchen and cookery in a high-class composition be mixed up 
with flowers and sentiment? What was there in a turnspit and its 
associations the devouring appetite of the queen, <kc. to fan the 
flame of passion 1 " These expressions, let fall at random, nearly cost 
them their seats. 

The verses were forcibly rendered by Azor, who scratched himself 
at intervals, either to relieve his feelings or lend piquancy to his 
love. At last the lover subsided into his daily barking prose. 

" Zemire ! Zemire ! Oh how I long to kiss the ground beneath thy 
feet ! " (in carrying out this ardent desire he would have encountered no 
reasonable difficulty, as the full-bodied lady left her footprints wher- 
ever she trod this by the way). Azor howls in his agony of heart, 
when the kitchen-boy all at once throws some hot cinders into his eyes 
to remind him of his neglected duties at the spit. 

I must tell you that in the castle there is a nasty dog, a Dane named 



92 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

Du Sylva, an intimate friend of the Count's horses, with whom, for his 
own pleasure, he goes hunting. He is, as you shall see, a cur fierce, 
jealous, implacable, and desperately wicked. He is hopelessly 
enamoured of the beautiful Zemire, who treats the attentions of this 
northern boor with scorn. What does the Dane do \ He, of course,, 
dissembles with such craft one would imagine he had forgotten the 
insults heaped upon him. Alas ! the traitor is only biding his time. 
One day he finds Azor in the castle moat, looking fondly towards his 
lady's nest. "Azor, follow me," says the Dane. He obeyed, and 
followed with his tail hung pensively between his legs. What does 
the Dane then do 1 He led Azor to a neighbouring pool, and 
ordered him to plunge and remain there for an hour. Azor obeys 
gladly. The cool water soothes his skin, and carries off the taint of 
cooking. It imparts lustre to his disordered fur, grace to his sickly 
body, vivacity to his eyes, which have been dimmed by the light of 
the fire. Leaving the pool, Azor rolls with delight on the sweet- 
smelling grass, impregnating his coat with the odour of flowers. He 
completes his toilet by whitening his teeth against the lichen of an old 
tree. That done, he feels the return of youth. The warm blood 
throbs through his heart, and his pensive tail wags briskly with the 
sense of new life. The whole world seems to open before him. There 
is nothing to which he may not aspire, not even the paw of Zemire. 
At sight of these extraordinary transports the Dane laughed in his 
sleeve, like the crafty rascal he was. He seemed to mutter, " Curses 
fall upon you, fool ! You shall pay dearly for my fellowship ! " 

I ought to tell you, master, that this scene was played with great 
success by the celebrated Laridon. He is perhaps rather stout and 
old for his role, nevertheless, as they say in the papers, his energy and 
chic carry all before them. 

Perhaps the finest scene was laid in the forest of Aranjuez, when 
the queen-dog walked pensively along with ears cast down, and a 
poodle held her graceful tail. Suddenly, at the bend of a path, 
she encounters Azor Azor renewed, resplendent the Azor of 
her dreams. Is it really he 1 Oh mystery ! oh terror ! oh joy ! ! 
Their eyes meet, and, eloquent with passion, tell their tale of love. 
Everything was forgotten in those moments of bliss. Had any one 
reminded Zemire that she filled one of the proudest thrones in the 
world, she would have replied, "What of that, so long as one loves ? " 
Had Azor been informed of his humble position, he would simply 



THE THEATRICAL CRITIC. 



93 



have shown his teeth. Oh delights, 
to conclude mv exclamations, oh 

JKL 



e shown his teeth. Oh delights, miseries, joys of love ! and also, 
conclude my exclamations, oh vanity of vanities ! know that 




every door has a hinge, every losk a key, on the rose is a grub, in the 



94 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



kennel a dog, and to every lamp, for the most cogent reason, there 
belongs a wick, and so in the forest of Aranjuez there lurks a terrible 
Dane who views our friends' behaviour from afar. 







" Ah ! oh ! so you love each other, do you 1 Tremble ! tremble ! for 



THE THEATRICAL CRITIC. 



95 



your fate." While speaking thus, when Zemire had quitted the scene, 
the Dane approached Azor. " So ! so ! " said he, " Zemire thinks you 
angelic in your borrowed beauty. You must now assume the skin of 
a porcupine, and with quills erect, dirty, hideous, smeared with sand 
and ashes, show yourself to Zemire, and break the spell that binds her ! " 
Thus howled the Dane, giving full vent to his passion in foaming rage. 
Poor Azor obeyed, and appeared before his mistress. Standing- 
beneath a frightful long-beaked heron, he bowed to the queen, declaring 
that he had played her false, as he was only an obscure turnspit, and 




begging her forgiveness. Then he remained motionless, prepared for 
his doom. Zemire cast herself at his feet, " Ah ! " she said, " let me 
share your sorrows. I love you still, even in your vile condition. 
There ! I give you my paw in the face of all the world." 



96 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

During this touching scene the whole house was moved to tears, and at 
the close came down with thunders of applause. Every one, beasts and 
birds even to a flea on the tip of my nose seemed delirious with 
excitement. With great presence of mind I bit the tail of an impul- 
sive cock, arresting his flight to the stage to challenge the Dane. In 
a few soothing words I assured him that the villain was really a very 
decent fellow in his own house. At the same time I reminded him 
that, as the village cock, he might be missed in the morning from his 
dunghill, where he performed the useful office of heralding the 
dawn. 

The curtain fell on the fourth act. As to the fifth, I do not intend 
to usurp your place as critic, but will conclude by saying that in this 
act the dogs had become tigers a natural metamorphosis of which 
good authors avail themselves. The tiger, with equal consistency, 
killed his wife by mistake, and consoled himself by slaughtering his 




friends. It seems, when fairly married, Zemire became a tigress. 
This, I have heard, is one of those unaccountable changes which not 
^infrequently occur in real life. Be that as it may, the curtain at last 
fell on scenes of crime, murder, and confusion. 

After the close of the drama, attendants handed round refreshments. 
As for me, I followed your example. As it was the first night of represen- 
tation, I left the box at once with the air of one burdened with thought ; 
and making my way to the green-room, joined a group of theatrical 
critics walking about with a supercilious pedantic air. One had the 



THE THEATRICAL CRITIC. 97 

sting of the wasp, another the beak of the vulture, a third the cunning 
of the fox. Beasts of prey were there, hungering for helpless victims. 
Lions proudly showing their teeth. Of mischievous animals of all 
sorts, it was a goodly company. I ought to inform you, as soon as it 
became known that you belonged to me I was permitted to go behind 
the scenes, and to cultivate the acquaintance of the actors. But I 
must now conclude this rambling review, a friendly greyhound is wait- 
ing to join me at supper. 




THE PHILOSOPHIC 



PERSONAGES. 

GNAWER, Rat with grey beard. 
TROTTER, A young rat, pupil of Gnawer. 
BABOLIN, Dispenser of holy water. 
TOINON, Daughter of Bab din. 
A YOICE. 

SCENE I. 

A DINING-ROOM MODESTLY FURNISHED. 

GNAWER alone, coming and going, seemingly much preoccupied. 

MY pupil Trotter is coming to share my 
dinner. I hope he may find no cause 
to regret his old master's invitation 
[smelling an old piece of cheese he found 
under the table]. There now is a bit 
of cheddar whose delicious perfume 
would make a dead rat come to life ! 
We shall hear what my pupil thinks of 
it. The rats of the rising generation 
are so strange they seem to care for 
nothing. Nothing pleases them, or 
dispels the frown they constantly wear. 
In my young days, we were less fastidious, we took things as 
they came.- One day we dined off corn, another off wood wood or 
corn, it was all the same to us. Now, alas ! all is changed. There is 
no contentment. If my pupils have bacon and nuts, they lament the 
absence of cheese. What is the world coming to ? Trotter is late, I 
wonder if anything has happened to him. 




THE PHILOSOPHIC RA T. 99 



SCENE II. 
THE OLD RAT AND HIS YOUNG PUPIL. 

Trotter. [Looking in at the window.'] Master, may I come in? 
Gnawer. What ! by the window 1 can't you find the door ? But 
1 forgot, you rats of the modern school never do as others do. Come, 
let us dine, the things have been waiting long enough. 

Trotter. Master, it is no fault of mine if, instead of crawling under 
the door, I was obliged to make a long journey round and come over 
the roof. 

Gnawe)\ [Laughing.] Nor mine that I know of. [He helps himself.] 
Try a little of this grilled nut ; it is delicious ! 
Trotter. [Gloomily.] I suppose it is my fate. 
Gnau-er. Again prating about fate. Can't you leave fate alone ? 
Trotter. Master, fate is never tired of persecuting us. Is it not fate 
that has filled the hole you cut with such labour at the bottom of the 
door? so that your friends and neighbours might find no difficulty in 
visiting you. 

Gnau-er. And you really think that fate filled up the hole 1 
Trotter. What else could it be, tutor ? 

dii'ncer. It was Toinon. [He helps him.] This lard is delicious. 
There is no one save Toinon has such good lard. 
Trotter. But who is Toinon, tutor? 

Uinnrer. The mistress of the house, daughter of Babolin. The 
most charming woman, oh ! and such a worker. She toils at sewing 
from morning till night. 

Trotter. And pray what interest can she have in stopping up 
holes 1 

Gnawer. What interest? [Laughing.] Taste this cheddar. Why, 
her legs to be sure j Toinon hates draughts. Besides, she is a 
charming girl, who makes crumbs when eating, and always leaves the 
cupboard door open. She will make an excellent wife. I wish I 
could marry her. 

Trotter. [JPith bitterness.] You? 

Gnawer. [Good-naturedly] Yes, I wish I could marry her to a youth 
she loves. It would give me the greatest pleasure to make two such 
beings happy. Who can prevent me ? 



ioo PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

Trotter. Reflect, master ; you are but a miserable rat, and yet you 
speak of rendering human beings happy. We are of a despised race. 
There is nothing so mean in the eyes of men as rats. " Poor as a rat " 
is a common phrase with them. 

Gnawer. Your temper is soured, my boy. Let us walk to aid diges- 
tion. The fresh air may clear your mind of these notions. Did you 
ever come across the songs of Be"ranger 1 He says that the poor, 
or rats, if you prefer it, have for their portion probity, wisdom, and 
happiness. A celebrated Scotch poet has even spoken of mice and men 
in the same line 

" The best-laid schemes o' mice and men 
Gang aft a-gley." 

That line recalls some incidents that have come under my personal 
notice, where the wisdom of the rat proved superior to the schemes of 
men. 

Trotter. Yes; it is all very well talking, nevertheless, the fact 
remains. We are a doomed race. Romantic ideas, however well 
expressed, will never feed the poor, or rats, when dying from hunger. 

Gnawer. Yes ; who is in the habit of dying from hunger ? Are you 1 
Did you die yesterday ? Are you dying to-day 1 

Trotter. [Aside in a mysterious tone.] Who knows 1 [Aloud.] If I do 
not die, others do. Have you forgotten Ratapon and his numerous 
family 1 They suffered for several days from hunger : taking heart, 
they asked their neighbours for help ; but the first they came to, a big 
fat porker, whose sty was full of corn and vegetables 

Gnawer. Well, I know what happened to them as well as you do. 
Roused by their cries, Mr. Pig looked over the wall, and addressing 
them in a surly tone, said, " What is all this noise ? What do you 
vagrants want?" " Your charity, my lord." "Be off instantly. How 
dare you interrupt me in the middle of my dinner ? " 

Trotter. That was all that came of it ; only, next morning the bodies 
of Ratapon and his family were found scattered over the country. 
Want and despair had killed them. 

Gnaiver. Want and despair ! You are drawing on your imagination, 
my boy. It was simply poison some balls of lard-and-arsenic which 
they greedily swallowed without waiting to send them to the parish 
analyst. 

Trotter. What more simple, more soothing than death? Is it not 



THE PHILOSOPHfC-WAT. 



roi 



our lot 1 Are we not menaced with cats, poison, and traps every day 
of our lives 1 

Gnawer. Yet we some of us reach a happy and honoured old 
age. 

Trotter. Yes ; nevertheless, it seems to me that every hour of our life 
is full of misery. 




Gnaiver. A thousand evils and misfortunes overcome are preferable 
to the event that deprives one of life. 



102 PUBLIC 'AND 'PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

Trotter. Better for fools, but the courageous rat has no love for a 
life full of torments, and casts it from him. 

Gnawer. Ah, so you contemplate suicide? and would withal 
be accounted a wise and courageous rat. It is a gay thought to 
toss lightly away the life you lack the courage to defend and 
protect. 

Trotter. This is no time for jesting ; I am sick of life, and I give it 
up. 

Gnaiver. Believe me, you are wrong. Life is not a bad thing. It 
has its hours of joy and hours of sorrow. I myself have more than 
once seen our last foe face to face, and yet I live. The traps made by 
man are not so cleverly constructed that one may not escape from 
them, and the cat's claws are not always fatal. If my poor father were 
living, he would tell you how by patience and perseverance a rat may 
draw himself out of even the most perilous situations. I was still very 
young when one day the smell of a nice piece of bacon led him into 
one of those traps, vulgarly called rat-traps. We all met around his 
prison, and imitating our poor mother, wept and clamoured for his 
release. My father, calm, dignified, and self-possessed even in mis- 
fortunes, said, " Stop your crying and work, every mother's son of 
you. The enemy may be hidden only a few steps off. Those traps 
invented by the perversity of man are simple enough. The door Hangs 
on a lever " (my father had finished his education by devouring a dry 
scientific encyclopaedia; he therefore knew a little of everything). 
"It is said that a lever and a weight might lift the world. If by 
applying weight to this lever you can give me back my liberty, you 
shall have achieved a nobler work. All of you climb to the top of 
my prison and hang on to the long end of the lever." Executing his 
orders promptly, we succeeded in raising the door and saving my father. 
Suddenly, with a terrible spring, a furious Tom cat leaped upon us. 
"Fly!" cried my father, whose courage remained unshaken "fly! I 
alone will face the enemy." A fierce struggle ensued, in which my 
father, severely wounded, lost his tail, but not his life. Soon after he 
regained our domestic hole, and while we licked the blood from his 
wounds, he smilingly said to us, " You see, my children, danger is 
like drifting wood portentous in the distance, paltry when it has 
drifted past." 

Trotter. [Coolly.] That is just my sentiment ; I have no dread of dan 
ger, I could face anything. 






THE PHILOSOPHIC RA T. 



'33 



At this moment a noise is heard like a pebble on the window, 
Trotter is about to flee, Gnawer prevents him 




^wWTSTTiis,. 

Gnawer. Ah, my friend, where is your boasted courage? You 



104 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

begin to face danger by running away. Calm yourself, I know this- 
signal. It is Toinon's lover throwing stones at the window. We may 
remain here. Lovers are dangerous to no one, they only think of 
themselves. 



SCENE III. 

THE SAME. 

Toinon has softly opened the door and crossed the room on tiptoe ;. 
she approaches the window and whispers, " Is that you, Paul ? How 
very imprudent ! Oh ! if my father were to come in." 

A Voice. It is now two whole days since I saw you. I could wait 
no longer. Is your father still opposed to me 1 

Toinon. More than ever, love ! He means to go to law. 

Paul. What ? to law about my cousin Michonnet's house 1 

Toinon. Exactly. 

Paul. Seeing that it was left to me lawfully, it is mine. 

Toinon. My father has a will which, he says, renders yours invalid. 

Paul. He is wrong. Besides, if he would only consent to our union 
the house would be his as well as mine. 

Toinon. He says he hates you, and it would be better I should die 
an old maid than marry a scamp. 

Paul. [Piteously.] Do you also, my darling, share his opinion] 

Toinon. Alas ! 

Gnawer. [Aside.] That alas goes to my heart. It says more than 
enough. 

Paul. Heavens ! your father is coming down the street ! I am off. 

Toinon. [Retreating from the window.] If only he escapes unobserved.- 
If he does not, what shall I do ? [She enters her room.] 



SCENE IV. 

THE SAME. 

Trotter. Hah ! hah ! Old Babolin will spoil your matrimonial 
scheme, my master ! 

Gnawer. I have decided that this marriage shall take place. 



THE PHILOSOPHIC RAT. 105 

Trotter. That of course alters the matter. If you have pledged your 
word, Babolin must fall. 

Gnawer. Yes, certainly ! 

Trotter. Is Babolin a weather-cock, that you can turn him at will 1 

Gnawer. No ; he is anything but a weather-cock. It would almost 
take a surgical operation to get a notion out of his rat's head when it 
is once there. 

Trotter. [Astonished.] Is the parent of this fair girl a rat ? 

Gnawer. No, not exactly. He is what men call a Church Rat. He 
dispenses holy water at the door of Notre Dame, and sells candles 
to the faithful, which they piously light in honour of God and the 
saints. 

Trotter. I know. The candles which are lit on the shrine when, 
their owners are present, and carefully extinguished and saved when 
they have gone, by order of the thrifty saints perhaps. So men 
in their pious thrift exact a heavy percentage of profit out of holy 
things. 

Gnawer. Come ! come ! You may grow indignant at your leisure. 
I hear Babolin approaching. Let us leave him a clear field ; he might 
tread on us. 

SCENE V. 
Enter BABOLIN. 

So, so ! In spite of my express wishes he meets my daughter. Comes 
like a thief to the window under cover of night. I shall show them 
what I am. [Calls Toinon ; Toinon enters.] Where are my rights as a 
father ? where are they ? It is Mr. Paul who mocks me ! [As if 
struck with an idea, he pauses.] What if I said nothing about my 
mischances ? If I acted the clement loving father. Paul loves my 
daughter. My daughter loves Paul. If, like the really kind-hearted 
man that I am, I yield to their wishes 1 That would do me honour, 
and make me appear before the world a model of virtue and forbear- 
ance. [Approaching his daughter.} Say, my little Toinon, does it grieve 
you very much not to wed your Paul ? [Toinon, whose heart is too full 
for speech, bursts into tears.] Toinon, if instead of going to the lawyer 
we go to the notary ? 

Toinon. [Smiling like the sun through a rain-cloud.'] To the notary, my 
father ? 



io6 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



Babolin. Yes, my darling, that he may hasten to draw up your 
marriage contract. 

Toinon. With whom, my dear papa 1 

Babolin. With Paul. 

Toinon. [Throwing her arms round his neck] my dear father ! how 
good ! how kind of you ! I dared not speak openly to you for fear of 
giving you pain ; yet without Paul I should have died. 

Babolin. Confound it ! no. You must not dream of dying. Come 
to the notary. 

SCENE VI. 

STITCH-GNAWER AND LITTLE TROTTER. 

Gnawer. Well, what do you say to all this, my little pupil 1 

Trotter. I say you are a sorcerer. As to the will of the late Mr. 
Michonnet, what has become of it 1 have you hidden it ? 

Gnawer. I inherit my father's love of books and curious docu- 
ments. He was a learned rat, having devoured some of the oldest 
.and dryest works in his master's library. It will not surprise you, 
therefore, to learn that this morning I gratified my natural taste, and 
.at the same time served my young friends, by breakfasting off the 
will of the deceased Michonnet. Thus, thanks to my timely aid, a 
lawsuit one of the greatest evils of this lying age has been nipped 
in the bud, and a wedding concluded. You see, my dear pupil, that 
notwithstanding our miserable condition, we, if we do not neglect our 
opportunity, can render the greatest service to humanity. But what 
.ails you that you caress your tail so pensively ? 

Trotter. Oh, I was only thinking that we would neglect our oppor- 
tunities were we not present after the wedding breakfast. There will 
be no end of good things going. 

Gnawer. Very good. You have wisely abandoned the idea of 
suicide ? 

Trotter. I should rather think I have. The world has many traps ; 
but it has also its tit bits of old cheese, for which sudden death would 
spoil one's appetite. 

Gnawer. These are sage reflections, but pray bear in mind the 
lesson of the lost will. The destruction of this instrument, so small 
in itself, happily turned the tide of events for generations to come. 
The wise householder sets his foot on the spark that would have 



THE PHILOSOPHIC RA T. 



107 



consumed his whole substance. The loving heart crushes the first 
cruel word that would wreck his happiness. The mariner marks the 
little cloud on the horizon, furls his sails, and his trusty bark rides 
out the tempest. Your humble servant has gnawed through the lines 
by which an unworthy father left an inheritance of misery to his 
children. 





THE $UFFERiNQ5 OF A BEETLE. 

IOLET, who is the most amiable and 
sensible dove in the world, wore, the 
other day, a very pretty pin in her collar. 
A lettered antiquarian owl told her it 
was perfectly charming. 

"Indeed," said Violet, "it is a present 
from my godmother, and represents an 
insect on a peony leaf. By means of this 
talisman common sense is secured, enabling 
one to see all things in their true light, nob 
through the illusive medium of passion." 
The owl approached to examine the 
jewel, but the dove, perceiving that her 
white neck against which it rested inter- 
fered with his minute inspection, took it off and gave it to him. 

" I will return it to-morrow," said the bird of night. " During 
my nocturnal studies the insect may disclose its history, then will 
I know the secret of your wisdom and beauty." 

As soon as the owl reached home, seeking the retirement of his study, 
he placed the pin on the table. Directly he had done so, the beetle 
walked about on the leaf. The insect was green, and its whole 
demeanour spoke of a worthy and candid nature. Passing a polished 
foot over its eyes, stretching out first one wing then the other, it 
directed its pointed proboscis to the owl, and with a mingled air of 
modesty and intelligence proceeded to relate its story in the following 
words : 

" I was born on the banks of the Seine, in a garden named after a 
temple of the goddess Isis. My parents had been consigned to their 
last resting-place by weevils, when I woke to the consciousness of 
existence beneath the shade of a Mimosa pigra, the sensitive idler, 
whose juice was my first aliment. The wife of an excellent gardener 



THE SUFFERINGS OF A BEETLE. 109 

had taken me in, but while she was absent at market I expanded my 
wings and flew away. My companions were simply beasts, so I found 
my sweetest associates in wild flowers, and poppies became my special 
favourites. I was already well grown, and amused myself by looking 
for bushy roses, and chasing the busy bees who stopped for a moment 
to joke with me. Alas ! these joyous days passed like a dream. A 
craving for the unknown gradually forced itself upon me and rendered 
my simple habits contemptible. I at length decideol to raise the veil 
of the future, and have my fortune told by a weird Capricorn beetle 
who passed for a soothsayer, and who spent her days in a lonely part 
of the garden. 

" She wore a long robe covered with cabalistic signs. Setting out 
for her cave, the crone received me graciously, and after describing 
certain mystic circles with her horns, she examined my foot, saying, 
* Thou art one of a noble line. The horns of thy forefathers have been 
proudly exalted, and as woefully depressed by fate. Whence comest 
thou to this lonely place 1 I had deemed thy race long extinct, had I 
not seen thee. The armour of thy ancestors can alone be found in the 
collections of entomologists. Happiness may never be thine ! ' 

"'Now then, old woman, 7 I said, 'my ancestors are dead and no 
manner of good to me. Tell me, once for all, am I likely to play an 
important part in the world, or am I not? I feel fit for anything.' 

" ' Hear him, ye powers invisible ! ' cried the witch. ' Thou wouldst 
willingly be a Don Juan ! consent to drink the nectar of the gods ! 
feast with the immortals, and cancel the debt of thine imprudence by 
suffering the tortures of Tantalus. Like Prometheus, thou wouldst 
steal the celestial fire at the risk of being torn by vultures. Alas ! 
thou wilt need no prompting to find misery enough and to spare. I 
will endow thee with the vile instinct of common sense, remove 
the mask from all that glitters and is not gold; dissolve the fair 
form of things, and reveal the ghastly skeletons they conceal.' 

" I left this cave and its hideous old witch, feeling discomfited by 
her strange prognostics. For all that, I still burned with the desire to 
cast myself into the garden of Isis, where thousands of insects swarmed, 
rejoicing in its intoxicating air. One day, while taking a morning 
walk through a kitchen-garden, I fell in with a rhinoceros beetle 
meditating beneath the shade of a lettuce. Trusting to his wisdom, I 
humbly besought him to favour me with some of those flowery and 
precious counsels which Mentor bestowed upon Telemachus. 



I io PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 







THE SUFFERINGS OF A BEETLE. in 

" ' It will afford me the greatest pleasure in life,' he replied. ' Your 
appearance recalls some famous old pictures in Lord Diamond's collec- 
tion. You evidently come of a brilliant line of beetles. Do you see the 
bloom of luxury in yonder garden ? Your horns and credentials will at 
once gain you an introduction there into our set the finest society in the 
world. The life will be new to you, but the jargon is easy. You must 
make some polite contortions before the mistress of the house, and when 
you have listened attentively to all the current nonsense of the day, 
you will be regaled with a little hot water, after which you can amuse 
yourself with the dragon-flies. Take care to listen patiently to all the 
unkind things whispered about intimate friends. You are not required 
to make remarks. Judicious silence will better establish your claims to 
sentiment, poetic feeling, and profundity, than any remarks you could 
hope to offer. Your acquirements will be gauged by your power of appre- 
ciating the wit or wisdom of those who address you. Above all, be 
careful to whom you give your heart, as you are almost certain to be 
deceived. These will make up the list of your pleasures, while your 
duties will be light and easily performed. Five or six times a year 
military dress must be worn and tactics studied, when you shall be 
required to obey implicitly the orders of the hornets.' 

" ' Five or six times ! ' I exclaimed. ' What a frightful task ! ' 

" ' The country requires it. Go now and enjoy your privileges. 
You are warned.' 

" This gloomy picture of my prospective joys and privileges would 
have scared any beetle less green and less intrepid than myself. The 
impetuosity of youth carried me on, and I looked upon the rhinoceros 
as an old croaker, who had seen too much of the world and of this 
particular garden. 

" ' Come with me,' said he at last, c society waits our appearance/ 

" I formed a close intimacy with a May bug, who one day said, ' I 
shall take you to the theatre, and other places of amusement, where we 
may spend a pleasant evening.' 

1 'My new friend asked if I was a lover of music. 'Yes,' I 
replied ; ' in the garden of my nativity we had some very fine tom- 
tits.' 

" ' AVe have something much better than that to offer you. I shall 
introduce you to the Academy, where we shall listen to the sublime 
in art.' 

"My companion, before entering, readjusted his feelers and collar. 



ii2 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

He then procured tickets from a wood-louse stationed at the entrance 
of a large acanthus flower. The concert-hall was filled by one of the 
most brilliant assemblages of the season. Certain well-known mem- 
bers of the insect aristocracy thronged the private boxes, gazing 
around with that air of superfine insolence which freezes the muscles 
of the face into an expression of languid-icy indifference. Slender- 
waisted wasps and dragon-flies formed charming groups; while a 
crowd of restless fleas filled the upper gallery. Flies in solemn black 
as if mourning for the frivolity of the hour were seated in the 
pit, patiently waiting to regale their ears with the music. 

" ' This gathering,' I said, ' conveys a pleasing impression to my mind. 
It is astonishing to see youth and beauty so thoroughly engrossed with 
the prospect of listening to good music.' 

" ' Do not deceive yourself, my friend,' replied the May bug. * It is 
not the art of the musician that is the chief attraction. These are, 
most of them, slaves of fashion, who know little and care less about 
music. Chut ! here is the first harvest-fly about to open the concert 
with her celebrated song.' 

"The singer, decked in resplendent wings, sang something thor- 
oughly dramatic. Her notes, sometimes loud, sometimes low, deep, 
high, long, short, were hurled into the hall in a manner so utterly 
perplexing that I whispered to my friend, ' Do you think she is all 
right ] ' 

" ' Eight 1 ' he replied. ' My uninitiated friend, you are listening 
to a prima donna, the finest soprano on the stage. The rendering 
of the cantata is sublime. Mark the modulations of the voice, the 
syncopation of the passages, the so to speak rhythmical delivery, the 
volume of sound filling every corner of the room, the ' 

" e But after all,' said I, interrupting him, ' as a mere display of 
the variety of sounds contained in the voice, the performance is per- 
haps very fine, yet I would rather listen to the heart-song of a linnet 
than all the throat-melodies of the world.' 

" ' Believe me, you must be mistaken,' said the Bug. ' She is a 
universal favourite; and, moreover, anything so popular must be in 
itself good.' 

" The fly was followed by a band of a hundred cathedral crickets 
who intoned a chorus. They seemed to be so nervously affected each 
one about his notes that the fall of the curtain afforded me great 
relief. 



THE SUFFERINGS OF A BEETLE. 113 



" The interval was filled by the evolutions of a grasshopper ballet 
corps, who exercised their feet and legs quite as much as the others had 
their lungs. It seems so my companion says they express in their 
gestures and steps many of the most subtle feelings of the heart. As 
for myself, I failed to perceive anything beyond the rather indecent 
gambols of a band of immodestly-dressed female grasshoppers. The 
display, although utterly devoid of the refinement which each male 
member of the assembly claimed as his special attribute, seemed to 
afford unmixed delight. To tell the truth, I myself was beginning 
to take some interest in the spectacle, when the whole band disap- 
peared, and the din of instruments began louder than ever. Oh my 
poor head ! how it ached ! I was compelled to seek the fresh air. 

" ' Is this what you promised me ? ' I said to the May-bug. ' I 
asked for songs, and in place of them you have taken me to listen to 
a troop of liberated fiends, who play all manner of tricks with divine 
harmony ! Take me, I pray you, where one may listen to music 
unaccompanied by swords, torches, and operatic tinsel.' 

" ' Come, then,' said my friend, ' we will go to a place where music 
is heard in all its purity. There you will be enchanted by the rich 
voice of a trumpeter beetle of world-wide fame.' 

" We winged our way to a fine red tulip that marked the entrance of 
the hall. As soon as we had seated ourselves, the trumpeter appeared 
and sang the finest air in a masterpiece. This time I was delighted ; his 
rich deep voice reminded one of the boom of distant thunder, the roll of 
the sea, or the noise of a steam-power mill. The song was short, and 
followed by the croaking chorus of miserable crickets. The contrast 
was so marked as to be revolting. Here my friend explained that 
each musical star is always attended by a constellation of minor 
luminaries, whose feeble light is borrowed from the centre round which 
they revolve. Theatrical managers profit by their study of natural 
phenomena. They say, 'As there is only one sun in heaven gladdening 
the earth, so in the theatre we should have one star at a time, so 
managed as to make the most of its refulgence.' Two stars cannot be 
allowed to cross each other's track on the stage. Such an irregularity 
would result in the total eclipse of the one, and in theatrical chaos. 

" ' Come, let us go elsewhere. Like a boy with sweets, I have kept 
the best to the last. You must tighten the drum of your ear, adjust 
your sense of hearing to its finest pitch, in order to appreciate the deli- 
cate strains that should touch your heart.' 

II 



114 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 




THE SUFFERINGS OF A BEETLE. 115 

" ' I hope,' I replied, ' to tune my tympanum so as to gather up the 
finest chords.' 

" ' I am by no means certain about that/ said my Mentor. ' Even I 
myself, who am thoroughly initiated, lose some of the finest phrases. 
One must know by a sort of intuition how to discover the sentiments 
-of the composer, just as a gourmet selects the carp's tongue, while a 
vulgar person polishes the bones. Wherein do you think consists the 
charm of instrumental music ? ' 

" * In the selection of a choice melody,' I replied, ' and the happy 
association of such harmony as shall lend it force and beauty ; just as 
in a picture the true artist so marshals his lights and colours as to 
give power of expression to his composition.' 

" ' You are quite wrong,' said he ; ' such notions are at least a 
-century old. Nowadays the charm of music consists in the agility of 
the performer's hands, in the shaggy vegetable-looking growth of the 
insect who manipulates the sonorous tool. It is undeniable that the 
harmony and sweetness of instrumental music lies in the nervous appear- 
.ance of the animal who wakes the articulation of his instrument, in the 
colour of his skin, roll of his eyes, and the curious manner in which he 
curves his spine round the violoncello. We are about to listen to 
one of those profound artists who give a mystic, and at the same 
time lucid, rendering of the vague harmony that breathes in the 
moods and passions of life.' , 

" ' Oh, bother ! ' I said, ' such fine affairs will be far beyond my dull 
comprehension. No matter, lead on, my curiosity exceeds my dis- 
cretion.' 

" May-bug introduced me into the open calyx of a Datura fastuosa, 
richly decorated for an instrumental concert, to which one could only 
gain admittance by paying a very high price. The assembly was even 
more brilliant than that of the Academy. A number of insects were 
ranged round an instrument with a very long tail, from which 
were to be drawn prodigies of harmony by the feet of a famous 
centipede. 

"After waiting two hours the artists at last arrived; the Centipede 
seated himself before his instrument, and looking calmly round at all 
present, a profound silence was at once established. The piece opened 
with a succession of thunder peals rolling on from the lowest to the 
highest notes on the board. The performer then addressed himself, 
though I thought regretfully, to some of the medium keys, after which 



ii6 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

commenced a vague slow adagio of an undistingnishable measure, ren- 
dered still more confusing by graces of manipulation. The air was poor r 
but what matters the poorness of the stuff when it is so covered with 
embroidering as to become invisible ? This was only a prelude to give 
a foretaste of the piece. As there were many thunderings and prelimi- 
nary canterings over the keys reminding one of a horse getting into- 
form for a great leap I fancied that something grand would follow ; 
yet it was quite the contrary. The dark foreboding cloud of the intro- 
duction cleared away, and was succeeded by a popular ballet-tune, a 
brisk lively air, which seemed to dance gaily over the green turf. 

" This spurious air, which had sprung up like a jack-in-the-box,, 
had been danced to for at least ten years ; one had had enough of it 
in every possible form, but the audience seemed to recognise in the 
air a delightful old friend. 

" At the close of this inspired theme and its endless chain of varieties 
the performer played the tune with one foot on the base keys, while 
the remaining ninety-nine feet were producing a furious running accom- 
paniment on the treble, ascending and descending in interminable runs 
of demi-semiquavers. 

" These were repeated over and over to the infinitely growing delight 
of the assembly. All at once the clamour ceased and the virtuoso 
counted time with the treble, like the slow tolling of the bell of doom 
that seemed to say, ' Tremble ! tremble ! thy death is at hand ! ' The 
artist-executioner then seized the doomed air as a Turk would a Chris- 
tian, tore off its limbs one by one, cut up its simple face, twisted its 
fingers, and dashed its common metre into the splinters of six-eight 
time. Here, in a frenzy of rage, he tossed the disjointed members on 
to the hot anvil of his key-board and pounded them into dust, blind- 
ing and stifling one's senses. 

" The Centipede continued to hammer louder and louder, faster and 
faster, keeping the dust of the pulverised air floating in a tempest 
around, and his audience in a tumult of excitement. The measure 
was left to look out for itself amid the din and confusion. The insects, 
seized with the contagion of the musical slaughter, kept time with the 
fluctuating measure until their bodies shook as if with palsy. 

" Composedly retiring within myself, I escaped the excitement, 
while the piece concluded with prolonged banging of chords, by which 
one discovered the true genius of the Centipede. 

" 'Oh, the power of music !' said a moth to her neighbour. 'My 



THE SUFFERINGS OF A BEETLE. 117 

soul has been wafted to the luminous spheres of the firmament, 
ah me ! ' and she fainted away. Another exclaimed, * How wonderful ! 
In these few minutes I have climbed to the last rung of the ladder of 
passion, love, jealousy, despair, fury I have experienced all these in 
the twinkling of an eye. For pity's sake, some air open a window ! ' 
4 Oh ! ' cried a third, ' I have become the slave of harmony. Why can 
it not leave my imagination to slumber in peace 1 I have seen white 
ants devouring their young ; bees stinging each other ; mosquitoes 
drawing blood from stones ; centipedes committing suicide ; charming 
butterflies metamorphosed into death's-head moths.' 

" ' Alas ! ' said an old Cantharis, ' what delight, what bliss to possess 
.such genius ! This centipede is truly wonderful ! wonderful ! ! ' 

"I turned towards a large gadfly who appeared to have some 
-common sense, and inquired timidly if it were not my ignorance which 
rendered me unable to appreciate the marvels which are being 
applauded. 

" ' Imprudent fellow !' replied he, drawing me into a corner. ' If you 
were heard letting fall such remarks you would be torn to pieces by 
the Cantharis. You had better go with the herd ; say it's no end of 
.soul-stirring, you know, and all that kind of thing. It is fashion, my 
boy. The Centipede is all the rage.' 

" ' Thanks for your warning, but is one compelled to come and listen 
to these torments of h-harmony T 

" * Xo, not exactly compelled, and yet we cannot escape it. It's 
supposed to be the correct thing to do.' 

" The emotion had now subsided, and we had to listen to a 
distinguished earwig violinist, who followed so closely in the 
.strain of his predecessor that I will dismiss him without further 
comment. 

"Before leaving the hall I was introduced to the Centipede, and 
congratulated him on his power over his instrument. The fellow 
turned away indignantly, saying, 'You take me, then, for a sort of 
musical machine. A day is coining in which I shall prove to the 
universe that my own compositions are alone worthy of my genius as 
a performer. Good-evening, Mr. Beetle.' A slight touch of vanity 
this, but the faintest trace of it ! Ugh ! 

" The May-bug approached me with a triumphant air, ' I told you 
we should have a splendid evening.' 



u8 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

" ' So very splendid/ I replied, ' I should like at once to sleep off its 
effect.' 

" Next day my guide led me to understand that it was expedient to 
go and visit some death's-head moths who view nature from their 
own ideal standpoint and endeavour to imitate its forms and colours. 

"The majority of these unfortunates had nothing more left than 
mere stumps of their once ample wings ; they had lost them in 
ambitious flight while yet too young. The first moth we \isited spoke 
very highly of his craft. 

" ' Nothing good can ever be achieved/ he said, ' without art, and 
there is no art without its rules. The precepts of the masters must be- 
followed. No composition can possibly be worth the canvas on which. 
it is painted unless it will bear the tests of law. To produce a good 
picture, it is necessary to select from nature's storehouse ; but to select 
only such elements as are pleasing to the eye and taste, and to reject 
all that are offensive. I have striven to carry out and embody all the 
rules of art in the composition I am about to show you.' 

" The Moth then unveiled a large canvas, representing a battle of 
the animalcules, seen by the microscope in a drop of water. He could 
not have hit upon a happier subject to display not alone his knowledge 
of art, but of the fierce passions which characterise even the lowest 
living organisms. The distinct genera and species were treated with 
masterly skill. The complicities of structure in the Rotifera lent 
force and dignity to the action ; while the breadth of expression in 
some of the mouths, the dangerous attitude of the heads, the curves of 
the tails and antennae, all contributed to render this one of the most 
striking productions of modern art. 

"In the next studio we visited, the Moth had met with an accident; 
he had singed his wings by venturing too near his light (candle-light). 
For all that, we found him a most enthusiastic limner, who discoursed 
like a lunatic on the subtle fire of genius. His speciality was portrait- 
painting, about which he had his own notions. 

" ' It is necessary/ he said, 'in order to idealise the subject, to care- 
fully study the habits of plant life, and impart something of its grace 
and tenderness to the outlines of the insect who is sitting for a 
portrait. It is wonderful to observe the effect produced by peculiar- 
habits of life, and most necessary for the artist to note their influences 
in the treatment of a subject. One requires to make one's self master 
of the life and thoughts of the sitter, so as to give a poetic rendering 



THE SUFFERINGS OF A BEETLE. 



119 



to his idiosyncrasy. Thus the low-life vulgar habits of a patron 
which impress their stamp on his physiognomy must be studiously 
concealed beneath a virtuous mask of paint and outline. In this way 




we depict what the insect under happier influences might have been, 
in place of what he really is.' 

" 'In other words,' I said, 'you portray your client as the insect 



120 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

God made him before he himself wrecked the fair image by giving 
himself up to the works of the devil. In this way I suppose you 
serve God and Mammon at the same time. After all, truth is truth, 
whether on canvas or in conversation, and it seems to me that you 
prostitute your sublime art by handing down painted lies to posterity.' 
We had to leave this studio, as the new light I had thrown on this 
moth's studies singed his wings afresh. 

" My Mentor next led me to a brilliant group of the Coccus cacti, 
or cochineal insects, from the forests of the ' Far East/ who were 
awkwardly colouring dead leaves. 

" ' Strangers/ said one of them, ' there has been only one great epoch 
for the fine arts.' 

"I was about to suggest that there had been four great epochs, 
and to concede that one of the four had perhaps been the greatest of 
all. 

" ' The ancients ! ' 

" ' That will do/ said one of the painters. ' The ancients were chil- 
dren, chrysalides groping in darkness.' 

" ' Perhaps you deem the Augustine epoch the greatest ? ' 

" ' The age of Augustus ! What of that ? We know nothing about 
it.' 

" ' Perhaps, then, the period of the Renaissance? ' 

" ' The Renaissance ! A period of beggarly decadence ! ' 

" ' Ah, then, to revive signifies to decline.' 

" ' Decidedly ; so far as the Renaissance goes.' 

" ' The only period remaining is the seventeenth century.' My voice 
was here stifled by groans. 

" ' Who is this Coleopterous 1 Have you lived in a hole 1 Learn, 
Sir Beetle, that which is known and sanctioned now-a-days we utterly 
condemn and ignore, while all that is obscure, lost in the dust of 
oblivion, we bring to light and restore with the varnish of our 
enthusiasm. Depend upon it, there has never been but one really 
grand epoch, which lasted twenty years and three months. This was 
in the twelfth century, during the time of Averroes. The Saracens 
brought art to the highest pitch of perfection.' 

" ' Let us leave these driveling fools/ I whispered to my companion. 

" < Willingly.' 

" Our next flight was across the garden to a spot I had never seen 
before. Its name was taken from an ancient causeway on which it had 



THE SUFFERINGS OF A BEETLE. 121 

been erected. We entered a rich tulip where a number of insects 
were assembled. 

"'Here you see,' said my companion, 'the whole entomological 
race peacock-butterflies, admirals, generals, princes, counts, satyrs, 
even Vulcan and Argus.' You are aware the beetles are descended from 
an Egyptian race of insects accustomed to translate hieroglyphics of the 
physiognomy, and thus read the secrets of the heart. 

" I therefore understood at a glance that all the females of this vast 
assembly were ranged in a ring for no better purpose than criticising each 
other's appearance and dress. They were indeed, without a single excep- 
tion, secretly employed in picking each other's robes, jewels, and looks to 
pieces. The males stood at some distance. I remarked to my friend 
that this chosen society appeared to me dull and miserable. Not wish- 
ing to judge hastily, I determined to listen to the conversation. 

" A group of sporting spiders were wholly engrossed with talk about 
hunting, dining, and betting, and how their blandishments had done 
for some gay thoughtless flies who had been decoyed into their 
chambers in pursuit of pleasure, and rewarded with death. Two 
fine females were whispering behind their fans. I slipped quietly up 
to them to listen. Imagine my surprise when I heard them using 
the slang of the lowest vermin living. 

" Their chief theme was the best means of draining their husbands' 
purses to enable them to pursue their selfish pleasure, while I found out 
that their devoted partners were nearly driven to despair to make 
ends meet. My horns stood up on my head with horror. Addressing 
my companion, I said, * Is this what you call the pleasures of the world ? 
In the modest field where I was born, it was not so. When a simple 
insect puts on her best- dress, she wears her sweetest smiles all for 
her fond husband.' 

" ' "Well/ said my Mentor, 'what can one do ? Fashion is king here, 
and he is a hard task-master. All these are his slaves in every detail 
of life, dress, and language.' 

"'But,' I said, 'if one thinks only of personal adornment, putting 
on one's back all one's worldly possessions, how fares the household 1 ' 

" ' The household !' replied he ; ' who ever thinks of that? Domestic 
bliss belonged to our grandmothers.' 

" ' And the budget ? those two famous ends of the year which it is 
so important to join together decently.' 

" ' That does not matter either to you or to me.' 



122 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

11 Two rather unsightly insects were putting their heads together in 
a corner. ' Who are those two creatures 1 ' I inquired. 

"'They are ant-lions of finance. Their habits are droll. They 
meet together in the morning in a temple consecrated to their 
operations. There they plan how best they may undermine the finest 
structures of their neighbours. Their form of worship is perhaps the 
most dangerous in the world, as they sacrifice many victims, simple 
and innocent ones. When one of these ant-lions has done a good day's 
work, sucked the life's blood from some widow or orphan, he is the 
pleasantest evening companion imaginable. That bejewelled female 
with the dirty diamond-ringed neck and fingers is one of their wives.' 

" I soon left the husbands to talk over their pitfalls, and listened to 
the gossip of their wives. 

" 'My dear friend,' said one of them, ' you have a musical cousin 
always about you of whom we may talk undisturbed/ 

" ' Bah ! we do not get on ; he grumbles so if I eat sweets while 
rendering sonatas or qmtuors of Haydn or Mozart.' 

" The sad counsels of the old Rhinoceros came to my mind, and I 
began to understand that he had been at least truthful. My reflections 
were here interrupted by an altercation between two insects. The 
questions discussed were taken up by all the others. I afterwards learned 
the nature of the questions, and the decisions were the following : 

" 1st, Green tea is more destructive to the nerves than black tea. 

" 2d, Self-love is the motive of all action in insects. 

" 3d, The hill of St. Denis is about as steep as that of Clichy. 

" 4th, It is cheaper to live in France than in England. 

" 5th, It is better to be rich than poor. 

" 6th, Friendship is a sentiment weaker than love. 

" This last question was given up as insoluble at the request of the 
ephemera present. An Alpine hermit made a note of it, so as to be able 
to meditate on the subject at leisure in the solitude of his cell. I then, 
taking my friend by the arm, inquired, ' Is there no spot in this large 
garden where one could find an insect that would converse without 
pretending to be interesting ? ' 

" ' Yes,' he replied, scratching his pate with an air of embarrassment; 
' follow me.' 

" We flew away into the dark night, but my guide made so 
many circuits that I perceived he was quite at a loss where to go. 



THE SUFFERINGS OF A BEETLE. 123 

" ' I do not think/ he said, ' it would be worth while to take you 
into that vast swamp where one lives in isolation like a water-rat. 
Let us cross the river. On its bank yonder are lilies to whom I might 
introduce you. They live in peace and silence, fearing to defile them- 
selves by unkind sentiments.' 

" * Is there any gaiety there '? ' 

"'In the land of lilies one is sadder than elsewhere, but the reason 
of that is too long to enter upon here.' 

" Tired of these flights, I profited by the darkness to leave my 
companion. A bright star, as if by chance, directed me to the third 
floor of a climbing rose, and there at last I found the object of my 
search, a good honest family of lady-birds established in a simple and 
commodious dwelling. Most amiable creatures, living without show or 
ostentation. Our conversation was animated by a genial gaiety, and 
we sat down to a simple supper. My place was between two hostesses 
who proved most agreeable companions." 

Here the Beetle relapsed into silence. 

" Mr. Beetle," said the Owl, " I feel certain your history does not 
end here." 

" That is true, Mr. Philosopher," said the insect ; " I had reserved a 
portion. From the happy moment that separated me from my Mentor 
I have only once felt pain. A certain day, at a certain hour, I was 
summoned to put on my military dress and mount guard at a place 
pointed out to me. I had to obey under pain of death, in common 
with many other insects of peace, who were compelled to imitate 
wasps and hornets in order to secure the safety of the country, which 
was in no real danger. After a day and a night of this warlike 
parade, I again obtained my liberty. I had caught cold and tooth- 
ache, but seeing a poppy on my way, I plunged into it and swallowed 
some opium, which brought on profound sleep. At last I was roused 
by the voice of a magpie, who had seized me round the waist with 
his iron beak. He was an old collector, and, more than that, a 
sorcerer. ' Here,' said my captor, ' I have found a pretty beetle, 
which I shall place in the middle of a peony leaf, and give to my god- 
child as a jewel and talisman to protect her against the sway of 
fashion.' 

" I permitted myself to be placed on the leaf and attached to the 
dove Violet's neck, where I have determined to remain, as the situa- 
tion suits me, and I hope to make her lucky." 



124 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



" Sir," said the Owl, " it seems to me that you are studiously con- 
cealing the most interesting part of your narrative. A beetle of 
your wide experience cannot have passed through the world without 




some love adventures. I strongly suspect you fell in love with your 
lady-bird hostess. Pray allay my curiosity." 



THE SUFFERINGS OF A BEETLE. 



125 



The little green Beetle hereupon bestowed one searching look upon 
the Ow), and drawing in his legs and horns, lapsed into silence, 
simulating death so cleverly that his interrogator became alarmed. 
The Owl put on his spectacles to examine the insect more closely. He 
then saw for the first time that it was an emerald mounted on an 
enamelled leaf. The sun beginning to appear, he became drowsy, 
and pulling his hood over his eyes, fell into a profound sleep. 

Awaking at last, he discovered that the story of the green Beetle 
was but a dream, and returning the pin to .Violet, he recounted the 
history of the transformed jewel as if it had been his own invention. 




A Fox IN A TRAP. 




HE following story was found among the 
papers of a distinguished " Orang-Outan " 
member of the Academies : 

" No, decidedly not ! " I cried ; " it shall 
never be said that I chose for the hero of 
my tale a cowardly, sneaking, voracious 
brute, whose name has become synonymous 
with cunning, hypocrisy, and knavery a 
fox, in fact." 

" You are wrong," replied one whose presence I had overlooked. 

I must tell you that my lonely hours had been beguiled by a 
creature of a species hitherto undescribed by the naturalist, who per- 
formed slight services, and was at that moment engaged in arranging 
the books in my library. The reader will no doubt be surprised to 
learn that an orang-outan literally, man of the woods or wilds 
possessed a library. His astonishment will be still greater when he 
is informed that the chief works in my collection were penned by 
philosophic apes, and that most of them contain elaborate disquisi- 
tions on the descent of apes from the human species. This by the 
way. 

Perhaps the dependant who addressed me would be called a 
"familiar spirit." Although spirits are not totally unknown, I am 
unacquainted with those of the familiar type ; I will therefore, with 
your leave, name this one Breloque. 

" You are wrong," he repeated. 

" Why 1 " 1 indignantly inquired. " Will your love of paradox 
tempt you to defend the cursed, corrupted race ? " 

" I think," replied Breloque, leaning on the table with an air of 
arrogance most ludicrous to behold, " that bad reputations, as well as 



A FOX IN A TRAP. 



127 



good ones, are sometimes usurped, and that the species in question, or 
at least one example with whom I became acquainted, is the victim 
of an error of this sort." 

" So then," I said, "you are speaking from personal experience? " 




" Quite so, sir ; and were it not that I fear wasting your precious 
moments, I would try and convince you of your error." 

" I am willing to listen, hut what will the result be 1 " 

" Nothing." 

" That is satisfactory. Sit down in this arm-chair, and should I go 
to sleep, do not stop, I pray you, as that would awake me." 

After taking a pinch of snuff from my box, Breloque, nothing loath, 
commenced thus : 

" You are fully aware, sir, that notwithstanding the affection which 
attaches me to your person, I have never submitted to the slavery 
that would have been distasteful to both. I have my leisure hours, 
when I think of many things ; just as you have yours, when you think 
of nothing. Oh, I have many ways of passing my time. Have you 
ever been out fishing with the line ? " 

" Yes," I replied ; " that is to sa} r , I often used to go in a costume 
expressly suited to 4 fishing, and sit from sunrise to sunset on the 
borders of a stream. I had a superb rod mounted with silver, like 
an Oriental weapon, but without its danger. Alas ! I have passed 



128 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



many sweet hours, and made many bad verses, but I never caught a 
single fish." 

"Angling, sir, appeals to the imagination in your case, and has 
nothing to do with the happiness of the true angler. Few persons 
are so framed as to appreciate the charms of which you speak. Your 
mind, filled with dreamy, vague hope, follows the soft motion of the 
transparent water, marks and profits by the events of the insect world 




that clouds its clear face. To the fisher of poetic mind the capture 
of one of the silver dwellers in the stream can only bring regret, 
remorse." 

I made a sign of assent. 

" Yet," he continued, "few persons regard the sport in this light." 

" That is true/' I replied. 

Breloque, unaccustomed to find one entering so fully into his views, 
felt flattered. 

" Sir," he said in a tone marked by perfect self-satisfaction, " I have 
thought deeply on subjects most profound, and I feel convinced, if the 
world would only give me a fair hearing, I could earn a wide reputa- 
tion nor would it be a borrowed one." 



A FOX IN A TRAP. 



129 



"Apropos of borrowed fame,' let us hear the history of your fox. 
You abuse the privilege granted by thus trifling with my patience." 

" Ah, sir, you misjudge me. This is only a subtle, roundabout way 
of leading your mind up to the theme. I am now all for you, and 
will only permit myself to put one question What do you think of 
butterfly-catching ? " 

" Wretch ! " I exclaimed, " am I here to discuss the fortunes of all 




created things before the one which occupies me? You forget the 
hatred that fills my breast, the mask of hypocrisy which the fox 
craftily assumes to attract tender chickens, lambs, doves, and his 
thousand victims." 

"What calumnies!" replied Breloque. "I hope to avenge the fox 
of all his enemies by proving that in love he is stupid, unselfish, and 
tender-hearted. For the moment I have the honour of returning to 
the butterfly-hunt." 

I made an impatient gesture, to which he replied with such a 
look of supplication that I was completely disarmed. Besides, I had 
the imprudence to let him see that the exciting pastime interested 
me. 

I 



130 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



Breloque satisfied, took a second pinch of snuff, and half lay down 
in his arm-chair. 

" I am happy, sir," he said, " to see you take delight in the truly 
worthy pleasures of life. Can you point out a being more to be 
envied or recommended to the consideration of his fellow-creatures 
than the one we encounter early in the morning, joyous and breathless, 
beating the long grass with his stick ? In his button-hole hung a bit 
of cork armed with long pins used to spike without pain his lovely 
victims. He soothes himself with the notion that these little insects, 
brought by the zephyrs, cannot suffer pain, as they never utter a 
complaint. For my part, I think the butterflies rather enjoy the 
prospect of being dried like mummies, and displayed in choice collec- 
tions. But we are off the line of our subject." 

" You are right for once," I said. 

" I shall return to it. As speaking in general terms pains you, I will 
talk of my own experiences in the field. One day, when carried away 
by the ardour of the hunt. It is altogether different from fishing, of 
which we were just talking." 

I rose to go, but he quietly made me resume my seat. 

" Do not be impatient. I only spoke of fishing as a comparison, for 
you to note the difference. Fishing with bait requires the most perfect 
rest, while the hunt, on the contrary, demands activity." 

"You have fairly caught me and pinned me down," I replied, 
laughing. 

" That is a cruel remark ; but I shall now be careful to stick to my 
narrative. You are as capricious as the gay butterfly I was engaged 
in pursuing. He was a marvellous Apollon in the mountains of 
Franche Compte'. I stopped quite out of breath in a little glade into 
which he had led me, thinking he would profit by this moment to 
escape ; but, either from sheer insolence or frolic, he alighted on a 
long stem of grass, which bent under his weight, seeming to set me at 
defiance. Collecting all my energy, I determined to surprise him. I 
approached with stealthy steps, my eyes riveted on him, my legs 
strained in an attitude as uncomfortable as it was undignified, 
my heart swelling with an emotion more easily imagined than 
described. At this moment a horrid cock crowed lustily, and away 
flew my coveted prize. Inconsolable, I down upon a stone and 
expended my remaining breath in heaping invective on the head of 
my musical enemy, menacing him with every kind of death, and I 



A FOX IN A TRAP. 131 



own, to my horror, even mentioning a poisoned pill. I was delighting 
in guilty preparations to carry my threats into effect, when a paw was 
placed on my arm, and I beheld two soft eyes looking into mine, those 
of a young fox, sir, of charming form. All his externals were in his 
favour, betokening a loyal noble character. Although you yourself 
are against his species, I somehow contracted a liking for the fox 
before me. This modest animal heard my menaces against the 
cock. 

" ' Do not give way to passion, sir,' he said in such a sad tone that I 
was movfcd even to tears. ' She would die of grief.' 

" I did not quite understand. ' Who do you mean 1 ' I inquired. 

" ' Cocotte ! ' he replied with sweet simplicity. 

"I felt still in the dark; yet conjectured it was some love 
story. I have always been passionately fond of romance, and 
you 1 " 

" That depends entirely on circumstances." 

" Say at once you detest love tales. However, you must resign 
yourself to hearing this one." 

" I should name my objections at once, were I not afraid of wound- 
ing your feelings, so I prefer bravely taking my part and listening to 
your story ; ennui does not kill." 

" So it is said, yet I have known people who have almost succumbed 
to ennui. But to return to the fox. 

"' Sir/ I said, 'you interest me deeply. You seem unhappy. Can 
I serve you in any way ? ' 

" ' Thank you,' he replied, < my grief must remain unalleviated. No 
one has the power to make her return my love.' 

" ' Cocotte ? ' I said quietly. 

" * Cocotte,' he replied, sighing. 

" The greatest service one can render a disconsolate lover, next to 
destroying him, is to listen to him. He is happy while recounting 
his troubles. Knowing the truth of this, I asked and obtained his 
confidence. 

" ' Sir,' said this interesting quadruped, ' since you wish me to relate 
some of the incidents of my life, I must go back several years, as my 
misfortunes commenced with my birth. I owe my introduction into 
life to one of the choicest foxes of the time. For all that, I am happy 
to say I inherit almost nothing of the subtle nature of my parents. 
My utter abhorrence of their ways inspired me with tastes opposed to 



132 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



the interest of my family. A large dog with whom I became 
acquainted taught me to befriend the weak and helpless. Many hours 




have I spent, not only listening to his counsel, but observing how 
careful he was to put his virtuous maxims into practice. He won my 
gratitude by saving my life. A country steward caught me in his 



A FOX IN A TRAP. 133 



master's vineyard beneath a vine, where I had taken, shelter from the 
heat of the sun, after quenching my thirst with a grape. I was ignomi- 
niously arrested and brought before the proprietor, a "justice of the 
peace," whose fierce aspect did not calm my fears. But this power- 
ful, superb animal proved most kind ; he forgave me, admitted me to 
his table, where, in addition to more substantial fare, I was fed on 
the precepts of virtue and morality. To him I owe the sensibility of 
my heart, the culture of my mind, and even the pleasure of being able 
to relate my experience in intelligible language. Numerous griefs and 
wrongs chequered my existence up to the fatal hour when, like 
Romeo, I gave my heart to a creature from whom our family feuds 
seemed to have parted me for ever. Less fortunate than Romeo, I was 
not loved in return.' 

" ' Who,' I said, ' is the fair charmer so insensible to your love ? 
Who is the lover preferred before you 1 ' 

" ' The charming one,' he replied with humility, * is a hen, and my 
rival a cock.' 

"I was confounded. 'Sir,' at last I said to him, 'do not for an 
instant attribute my remarks to our newly-formed friendship. I 
for one have always looked with scorn and contempt on indi- 
viduals of this vain type. What more stupidly pretentious, what 
more ridiculous than a cock, whose stiff strut of pride causes him to 
stumble in his sublimest moods? The unbridled pomp and vanity 
of the cock renders him the meanest and most ridiculous of 
"birds.' 

"'There are many hens, sir, who are not of your opinion,' said my 
young friend, sighing. ' Alas ! the love of Cocotte is a proof of the 
value of a picturesque physique coupled with bold assurance. I hoped 
that my boundless devotion would one day be rewarded by her love. 
I had spiritualised an attachment which generally displays itself in 
a rather material fashion when the fox woos the hen. But happy love 
knows no pity ! Cocotte saw me suffer without remorse. My rival 
enjoyed my troubles, for in the game of insolence and fatuity he has 
no rival. My friends scorned and abandoned me, and, to crown all, 
my noble protector ended his days in an honourable retreat. Alone 
now, I would feel wretched but for the memory of this fatal passion, 
which has still its inexplicable charm. I am bound to Cocotte, and to 
the end of my days must defend her against my fellows, and wear the 
chains she has coiled around me. I would die happy if only I could 



134 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



prove to her that I am not unworthy of her pity ! You are so indul- 
gent, sir, I venture to think that the circumstances which intro- 
duced me to Cocotte may not be indifferent to you. I first beheld 
her during a blood conventicle held last summer, at which I 
unwillingly assisted. It was through my father's influence that I was- 
admitted. I was detested by my friends, and could take no part in 
eating feathered creatures like the one I loved. A number of mjr 
relations had agreed among themselves to seize a farmyard during the- 
absence of the master and dogs. You may descry the house not far 
from here. The most careful preparations, such as would make- 
your hair stand on end (pardon me, I did not notice your wig) 
were made for a general slaughter of the dwellers in the yard. 
In spite of my tender heart I lent myself with a rather good grace to 
aid in carrying out their schemes. It may have been with some touch 
of pride more worthy of men than foxes, I felt prepared to prove, 
dreamer as I was, that in the hour of danger I could be trusted. 
The plot, the memory of which makes me shudder, did not seem at all 
odious at the time. At last, under cover of night, we made a 
triumphant entry into the ill-defended yard. Our victims were 
asleep hens go to roost early. One only remained watching that 
was Cocotte. The first glance of her fair form floored me to make 
use of a vulgar phrase. Here I was, a fox in love. I breathed soft 
words to the night air; she listened to me as one accustomed to- 
homage. I retired to devise some means of saving her. Do not fail 
to note that my love began in an unselfish thought. This is so rare 
as to be worthy of special remark. When I approached the blood- 
thirsty foxes, I advised them to begin decently and in order by devour- 
ing the eggs. My proposal was adopted by a large majority. Thus 
gaining time to reflect, I had decided on nothing when I had to mount 
guard ; the thought then flashed across my mind that a false alarm 
would save my darling, I at once cried, " Flee who may ! " Most of 
the robbers were already laden with spoil, some had nothing, yet they 
fled, all of them, leaving me master of the field. The cock awoke r 
and discovering that his harem had been invaded, crowed lustily, 
compelling me to retreat. I kept watch . over that farmyard for 
many days, but could never win a kind look from Cocotte, who, 
although frequently beaten by her unfaithful lord, seemed daily to- 
grow fonder of his society. Nevertheless, I would not have tried to- 



A FOX IN A TRAP. 



135 



gain her love by unveiling the character of ray rival, and depriving her 
of her dearest illusions. 




\- 

" ' The image of my old instructor often rises before me, and I feel, 



136 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



while he raised me out of my own level by education, he rendered me 
more unhappy than the most ignorant and besotted of my kind. What 
more can I say ? the incidents of an unrequited love are so few that I 




am surprised at the brevity of my tale when recalling the misery o f 
my life. Now, I shall leave you, the sun is going down; think 



A FOX IN A TRAP. 



137 



of me, sir, when you hear it said 'that foxes are wicked. Do not 
forget that you have met a kindly-disposed, sensitive, and therefore 
miserable fox." 

"Is that all?" I said. 

" Of course," replied Breloque, " unless the interest you feel in my 
story prompts you to inquire what became of the different personages." 

"Interest never prompts me to do anything," I replied; "I like 
everything to be in its proper place. It is therefore better to know 
what the characters are now doing, than to risk meeting them in places 
where they are least expected." 

" The fox," continued Breloque, " came across our common enemy. 
One day venturing to carry off Cocotte, he was shot by the farmer, who 
hung his tail up as a trophy." 

" What became of the cock?" 

"Listen ; he is crowing, the cowardly, stupid, selfish rascal ! " 

" Have you not for the fox the same hatred I have for the cock ? " 

"Do not deceive yourself; the fox was the craftiest rogue you ever 
met. Had he succeeded in deluding the farmer as he deceived you, 
his thirst would have been slaked with the blood of Cocotte. He 
would have proved as benevolent as a Bashi-Bazouk in Bulgaria. 

"I don't doubt that," said Breloque, "but I am sorry for it." 





~~* ?* 



TEXT-BOOK 




FOR THE GUIDANCE OF ANIMALS STUDYING FOR 

HONOURS. 

MR. EDITOR, DONKEYS have long felt the need 
of asserting their rights before the tribunal of 
animals, and putting down the injustice which 
has made them the living types of stupidity. 

If skill is wanting in the writer of this manu- 
script, courage is not. Moreover, let me conjure 
i the silent sage to examine himself in order to 
find out the secret of his success in society, and 
ten chances to one he will admit that it all 
comes of his being an ass. Without donkeys 
in political circles, majorities would never be 
obtained, 'so that an ass may pass as a type of 
those governed. 

But my intention is not to talk politics. I only wish to prove that 
we have many more opportunities, were they rightly used, of securing 
honours than fall to the lot of highly gifted and cultured creatures. 

My master was a simple schoolmaster in the environs of Paris. He 
was a good teacher, and a thoroughly miserable character. We had 
this peculiarity in common, if we had our choice, we would have decided 
to live well and do nothing. This characteristic, common both to asses 
and men, is vulgarly called ambition, at the same time I think it is 
only the spontaneous growth of modern society. I myself had opened 
a class, and taught in a manner which excited my 'master's jealousy, 
although he acknowledged himself struck by the results of my method. 
" Why is it," he one day said to me, " that the children of men take 
so much longer to learn to read, write, and become useful members of 
society, than young donkeys do to learn how to earn a living 1 How 
is it that asses have so profited by all that their fathers knew before 
them, that their education is, so to speak, born in them ? So it is, 
indeed, with every species of animal excepting the human. Why is 
man not born with his mind and faculties fully developed ? " 

Although my master was quite ignorant of natural history, he 



TEXT-BOOK FOR GUIDANCE OF ANIMALS. 



'39 



imagined that these questions in themselves were so thoroughly scientific 
and posing as to entitle him to a place under the Minister of Public 
Instruction, where' he might extend his valuable reflections at the 
expense of the State. 



"'**";" 




We entered Paris by the Fabourg St. Mareian. When we reached 
the elevated ground near the Barrier d'ltalie, in full view of the 
metropolis, we each delivered an oration in our own way. 

"Tell me, Sacred Shrine wherein the budget is cooked, when 
will the signature of some parvenu professor obtain for me food, raiment, 
and shelter, the cross of the Legion of Honour, and a chair of no 
matter what, no matter where, &c. ? 



140 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



" Believe me, I should say so much good of every one that no harm 
could be breathed against me. 

" Tell me how shall I reach the Minister and convince him of my fit- 
ness to wear my country's honours." 

I followed my master's eloquent appeal. 

" charming Jardin des Plantes, where animals are so well fed, 
will you never open to me your stables of twenty feet square 1 your 
Swiss valleys thirty yards wide ? Shall I ever be one of those happy 
animals who roll on the clover of the budget, or stalled beneath grace- 
ful trellis-work bearing the superscription, 'An African donkey, 
presented by So-and-so, captain of a ship, &c. 1 ' 

After saluting the city of acrobats and fortune-tellers, we entered the 
noxious defiles of a celebrated fabourg famed for leather and science. 
At last we found shelter iri a wretched inn crowded with Savoyards 
with their marmots, Italians with their monkeys, Avergnats with 
their dogs, Parisians with their white mice, harpers with their string- 
less harps, and husky-voiced songsters. My master had with him 
six francs, the only barrier between us and suicide. The inn called 
The Mercy is one of these philanthropic establishments where one 
may sleep for a penny a night, and enjoy a meal for fourpence half- 
penny. It also boasts a stable, where all sorts of animals may be lodged 
promiscuously. My master naturally placed me there. 

Marmus, such was my master's name, could not avoid contemplating 
the throng of depraved beasts to which I was added. A monkey in 
marquis furbelows, plumed head-dress, and gold waistband ; quick as 
gunpowder, was flirting with a military hero of popular burlesque ; 
an old rabbit, well up in his exercises ; an intelligent poodle of modern 
dramatic fame spoke of the capriciousness of the public to an old 
ape seated on his troubadour's hat ; a group of grey mice were ad- 
miring a cat taught to respect canaries, and engaged in conversation 
with a marmot. 

" Confound these creatures ! " exclaimed my master ; " I thought I 
had discovered a new science, that of comparing instincts, now I am 
cruelly undeceived by this stableful of beasts, who are all of them the 



same as men 



" Ah, sir," said a shaggy-looking young man, " you desire to gain a 
reputation for learning, and yet you pause at trifles. Know, ambitious 
one, that in order to succeed you must allow your external appearance 
to indicate the height of your aspirations. The traveller who seeks to 



TEXT-BOOK FOR GUIDANCE OF ANIMALS, 141 

make his way into a terra incognita must not encumber himself with 
baggage. Our great explorers were men who wore an expression of 
resolute earnestness, and carried an umbrella and a tooth-pick. They 
penetrated to the heart of savagedom, and brought back to civilisation 
;i wayworn exterior and the power of discoursing on the perils of their 
journeys." 

" To what great genius have I the honour of speaking ? " 

" A poor fellow who has tried everything, and lost everything except 
his enormous appetite, and who, while waiting for something to turn 
up, lives by selling newspapers, and lodges here. Who are you, pray ? " 

"A resigned elementary teacher, who naturally does not know much, 
but who has asked himself this question, 'Why is it that animals 
possess d, priori the special science of their lives called instinct, while 
man learns nothing without extraordinary toil ] ' ; 

" Because science is in its infancy ! " exclaimed the adventurer. 
" Have you ever studied ' Puss in Boots ' ? " 

" I used to tell it to my pupils when they had been good." 

Well, my dear sir, it points the line of conduct for all to follow who 
wish to succeed. What did the cat do? He told every one that his 
master possessed lands ; he was believed. Do you understand that it 
is enough to make known that one is, one has, one intends to have ? 
What does it matter, if you have nothing, if others believe that you 
have all ?" 

" But ' vce soli /' says the Scripture. In fact, in politics, as in love, two 
are better than one. You have invented Instinctology, and you shall 
have a chair of Comparative Instinct ; you shall be the great modern sage, 
and I shall announce it to the whole world to Europe, to Paris, to the 
Minister, to his secretary, his clerks and supernumeraries. Mahomet 
became a prophet, not because he was gifted with prophetic inspiration, 
but because his followers proclaimed him prophet." 

"I am quite willing to become a great savant," said my master 
resignedly, " but I shall be asked to explain my theories." 

" What ! would it be a science if you could explain it ? " 

" Yet a point to start from will be necessary." 

"Yes," replied the young journalist, "we ought to have some animal 
that would upset all the theories of our learned men. Baron Cerceau, 
for example, has devoted his life to placing animals in absolute divisions. 
That is his plan, but now other great naturalists are knocking down all 
the strongholds of the Baron. Let us take part in the war of words 



142 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

and hypothetical ideas. According to us, instinct will be the leading 
feature in animals, by which alone, according to the degree of instinct, 
they must be classified. Now, although instinct will submit to infinite 
modifications, it is nevertheless still one in its essence, and nothing can 
prove the unity of all things better than this. We shall thus say there 
is only one animal, as there is only one instinct, the instinct which 
characterises all animal organisations. The, so to speak, appropriation 
of the element of life which circumstances change without affecting 
the principle. We come in with a new science opposed to the Baron, 
and in favour of the new school of philosophy which advocates zoolo- 
gical unitjr. We shall no doubt sell our discoveries in a good market ; 
our opponents must buy us up." 

" Well," said Marmus, ft science has no conscience. But shall I have 
no need of my donkey ? " 

" What ! have you a donkey 1 " exclaimed the adventurer ; " we are 
saved ! ! We shall turn him into an extraordinary zebra, and puzzle 
the whole learned world by some singularity which shall derange their 
most cherished conclusions. Savants live by nomenclature, let us 
reverse it ; they will be alarmed, they will capitulate, they will try to 
gain us over, and, like so many who have gone before, we may be gained 
over at our own price. There are in this house mountebanks who hold 
wonderful secrets, men having dwarfs, bearded women, and a host of 
monstrosities. A few politenesses will win us the means of concocting 
revolutionary matter such as shall astonish the world of science." 

To what science was I to become a prey? During the night several 
transversal incisions were made in my skin, after my coat had been 
clipped. To these a gipsy vagrant applied some strong liquor, and 
a few days afterwards I became celebrated. In the papers Parisians 
read as follows : 

" One of our most courageous travellers, Adam Marmus, after 
passing through the central wilds of Africa, has at last returned, 
bringing with him from the Mountains of the Moon a Zebra so 
peculiar as to derange the fundamental principles of naturalists who 
advocate a system of merciless division, not even admitting that 
the horse, in its wild state, was ever found with a black coat. 
The singular yellow bands of the new Zebra are most puzzling, and 
can only be explained by the learned Marmus in the work he is about 
to give to the world. This work, the result of many years' toil and 
observation, will be devoted '*to an elucidation of Comparative Instinct* 



TEXT-BOOK FOR GUIDANCE OF ANIMALS. 143 



a science discovered by the illustrious author and traveller. The 
Zebra, the only trophy of a journey unpiiralleled in the annals of dis- 
covery, walks like a giraffe. Thus it is proved beyond doubt that 
instinct modifies the forms and the attributes of animals, which are also 
greatly affected by geographical position. From these hitherto unknown 
facts the zoologists will be enabled to lay a new foundation of truth 
upon which to raise the fabric of natural history. Adam Marmus has 
consented to make known his discoveries in a course of public lectures." 

All the papers repeated this audacious fable. While all Paris was 
occupied with the new science, Marmus and his friend took up their 
quarters in a respectable hotel in the Rue de Tournon, where I was 
carefully kept in a stable under lock and key. All the learned 
societies sent delegates, who could not disguise the anxiety caused 
by this blow to the doctrine of the great Baron. If the forms and 
attributes of animals changed with their abodes, science was upset ! 
The genius who dared to maintain that life accommodated itself to 
all should certainly be upheld. The only distinctions now existing 
between animals could be understood by all. 

Natural science was worse than useless ; the Oyster, the Lion, the 
Zoophyte, and man all belonged to the same stock, and were only 
modified by the simplicity or complicity of their organs. Saltenbeck 
the Belgian, Vos-man-Betten, Sir Fairnight, Gobtonswell, the learned 
Sottenbach, Craneberg, the beloved disciples of the French professor, 
were ranged against the Baron and his nomenclature. Never had a 
more irritating fact been thrown between two belligerent parties. 
Behind the Baron were the academicians, the university men, legions 
of professors, and the government, lending their support to a theory, 
the only one in harmony with Scripture. 

Marmus and his friend remained firm. To the questions of acade- 
micians they replied by bare facts, avoiding the exposition of their 
doctrine. One professor, when leaving, said to them 

" Gentlemen, the opinion which you hold is without doubt directed 
against the convictions of our most reliable men of science, and in 
favour of the new schism of zoological unity. The system, in the 
interest of science, ought not to be brought to light." 

" Say, rather, in the interest of scientific men," said Marmus. 

" Be it so," replied the professor ; "it must be nipped in the bud, 
for after all, gentlemen, it is Pantheism." 

"You think so?" said the journalist. "How can one admit the 



HI PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

existence of material molecular force which renders matter inde- 
pendent of the Creator." 

" Why should not the Creator have ordered that everything should 
be subject to, and dependent upon, one universal law ? " said Marmus. 

" You see," said his friend in a whisper to the professor, " he is as 




profound as Newton. Why do you not present him to the Minister of 
Public Instruction ? " 

" I shall do so at once," rejoined the professor, happy to make 
himself master of the owner of the Zebra. " Perhaps the minister 



TEXT-BOOK FOR GUIDANCE OF ANIMALS. 145 

would be pleased to see our curious animal before any one else, and 
you will of course accompany him." 

" I thank you." 

" He would then be able to appreciate the service which such a 
journey has rendered to science," continued our friend. "Mr. Mannus 
has not visited the Mountains of the Moon for nothing. You shall see 
this for yourself; the animal walks like a giraife. As to the yellow 
bands, they are caused by the temperature, which was found to be 
several degrees Fahrenheit, and many degrees Reaumur." 

" Perhaps it is your intention to engage in public instruction ? " 

" Splendid career ! " cried the journalist starting. 

"I do not allude to the profession of noodles, which consists in tak- 
ing the students out for an airing, and neglecting them at home ; but 
to teaching at the Athenaeum, which leads to nothing, save to securing 
a professorship and pupils, which pave the way to all sorts of good 
things. We will talk of that again. All this took place early in the 
nineteenth century, when ministers felt the need of making them- 
selves popular." 

The partizans of zoological unity learned that a minister was about 
to inspect the precious Zebra, and/earing intrigue, the worthy disciples 
of our great opponent flocked to see the illustrious Marmus. My 
masters obstinately refused to exhibit me, as I had not acquired my 
giraffe step, and the chemical application to my Zebra bands had not 
yet completed the illusion. A young disciple discoursed on the new 
discovery with eloquence and force, and my cunning masters profited 
by his learning." 

"Our Zebra," said the journalist, "carries conviction to the most 
incredulous." 

"Zebra," said Marmus. "It is no longer a Zebra, but a fact which 
engenders a new science." 

" Your science," responded the unitariste, " strengthens the ground 
taken up by Sir J. Fairnight on the subject of Spanish, Scotch, and 
Swiss sheep, who eat more or less, according to the sort of herbage 
in pasture lands." 

" But," exclaimed our friend, " the products, are they not also dif- 
ferent in different latitudes and under different atmospheric conditions. 
Our Zebra explains why butter is white in the Brie in Normandy, and 
the butter and cheese yellow in Neufchatel and Meaux/' 

"You have placed your finger on the point of greatest vitality," 

K 



146 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

cried the enthusiastic disciple ; " little facts solve great problems. The 
question of cheese bears a subtle affinity to the greater questions of 
zoological form and comparative instinct. Instinct is the entire ani- 
mal, just as thought is man concentrated. If instinct is modified and 
changed according to the latitude in which it is developed, it is clear 
that it must be the same with the Zoon, with the exterior living form. 
There is but one principle of instinct." 

" One for all beings," said Marmus. 

" Then," continued the disciple, " nomenclatures are all very well for 
us to indicate the different degrees of instinct, but they no longer con- 
stitute a science." 

" This, sir," said the journalist, tl is death to the Mollusks, the Arti- 
culata, the Radiata, Mammifera, Cirropedia, Acephala, and Crustacea. 
In fact, it breaks down all the strongholds of natural history, and sim- 
plifies everything so thoroughly as to destroy accepted science. 

" Believe me," said the disciple, "men of science will defend their 
position. There will be much ink spilt and pens spoiled in the contest, 
to say nothing of the reams of paper that will be destroyed in keeping 
the wounds open. Poor naturalists ! No, they will hardly allow a single 
genius to wrest from their hands the labours of so many lives." 

" We shall be as much calumniated as your great philosopher himself. 
Ah ! Fontenelle was right. When we have secured truth, let us close 
our fists tightly over it." 

" Shall you be afraid, gentlemen?" said the disciple; "shall you be 
traitors to the sacred cause of the animals? " 

" No, sir," cried Marmus, " I shall never abandon the science to 
which I have devoted the best days of my life ; and to prove my sin- 
cerity we must conjointly edit the history of the Zebra." 

" We are saved," exclaimed Marmus, when the disciple had gone. 

Soon after, the ablest pupil of the great philosopher drew up a notice 
of the Zebra. Under the name of Marmus he launched out boldly, and 
formed the new science. This pamphlet enabled us at once to enter 
into the enjoyable phase of celebrity. My master and his friend were 
overwhelmed with invitations to dinners, dances, receptions, morning 
and evening parties. They were proclaimed learned and illustrious 
everywhere. They indeed had too many supporters, ever for a moment 
to doubt their being geniuses of the highest order. A copy of the 
work by Marmus was sent to the Baron. The Academy of Science then 
found the affair so grave that not a member dared give his opinion." 



TEXT-BOOK FOR GUIDANCE OF ANIMALS. 147 

" We must see, we must wait," they said. Sathenbeck, the learned 
Belgian, is coming by express, Vas-man-Bitten from Holland, and the 
illustrious Fabricus Gobtouswell are on their way to see the Zebra. 
The young and ardent disciple of zoological unity was engaged on a 
memoir which contained terrible conclusions, directed against the 
Baron's dogmas. Already a party was forming to promote unity 
applied to botany. The illustrious professors, Condolle and Mirbel, 
hesitated out of consideration for the authority of the Baron. 

I was now ready for inspection. My mountebank artist, in addition 
to finishing my bands, had furnished me with a cow's tail, while my 
yellow stripes gave me the appearance of an animated Austrian 
sentry-box. 

" It is astonishing," said the minister, as he gazed upon my coat for 
the first time. 

"Astonishing!" echoed the professor; "but, thank goodness, not 
inexplicable." 

" I am puzzled," said the minister, " how best to reconcile this new 
discovery with all our preconceived notions of zoology." 

" A most difficult problem," suggested Marmus. 

"It seems strange," said the great man, "that this African Zebra 
should live in the temperature of the Rue de Tournon." 

This was treading on delicate ground, but my master was equal to the 
occasion, although on hearing the remark I began to walk like an ass. 

"Yes," replied Marmus, "I hope he may live until ray lectures are over." 

"You are a clever fellow, but bear in mind that your new and 
popular science must be moulded to fit in with the doctrines of the 
worthy Baron. Perhaps it would lend dignity to your cause were you 
represented by a pupil." 

Here the Baron entered, and overhearing the remark, said : 

" Ah, sir, I have a pupil of great promise, who repeats admirably 
what he is taught. We call this sort of man a vulgariser." 

"And we," said the journalist, "call him a parrot. Those men 
render real service to science as they talk it down to the level of the 
popular- mind." 

" Well, that is settled," said Marmus, taking the Baron's hand ; 
" let us pull together." 

The minister said : " Marmus, you deserve, and shall receive, the 
substantial reward of genius in such honour and support as your country 
has to bestow." 



148 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



The Geographical Society, jealously wishing to imitate the govern- 
ment, offered to defray the entire cost of the journey to the Mountains 
of the Moon, which offer was ultimately carried into effect. These 
timely aids came in opportunely as my master had been burning the 
financial candle at both ends. 

The journalist was placed as librarian in the Jardin des Plantes, 
and abused the opportunity which leisure afforded him by running 
down my master and his science. Nevertheless Marmus coined a wide 
reputation out of the base metal of the parrot's jargon, and sustained 
his hard-earned fame by discreet and modest silence. He was elected 
professor of something somewhere, and would no doubt have filled the 
post honourably had a time and place ever been named when he 
would be required to fill a chair. 

As for myself, I was bought for the London Zoological Gardens, 
where change of climate and kind treatment rendered me the wonder 
of the world, as I gradually changed from a strange Zebra to a domesti- 
cated Cockney ass. 





THE INCONSISTENCIES OF A GREYHOUND. 

THE theatre has always had a peculiar 
charm for me, and yet there are few 
persons who have greater reason to hold 
it in utter abhorrence, for it was there 
5" at about nine o'clock one evening that I 
first beheld my husband. As you may 
well suppose every detail of our meeting is indelibly fixed in my mind. 
I have indeed many grave reasons for not forgetting it. In all frankness, 
I wish to accuse no one, but I was never meant for married life. 
Elegant, attractive, fitted only to revel in the pleasures of the world, 
and feast on the joys of a great life, space, luxury, brilliancy, were 
necessary to me. I was born to be a duchess, and married heavens ! 
the first clarionet player at the Dogs' theatre. It was a serious joke ! 
Was it not? It has moved me to laughter times without number. 
Yes ! he really played the clarionet every evening from eight to eleven, 
the easy parts too, at least, he told me so. I daresay it was not true for 
I never found that he played false to me. 

During the day he was second trombone to the parish of dogs, and 
above all, his greatest ambition was a hat in the National Guards. 

These details may seem grotesque. Pray forgive me if they are, as 
I only wish to discharge my duty. 

One evening when I was at the theatre, I noticed between the acts 
a big burly dog in the orchestra wearing spectacles, a cap, and blowing 
his nose in a checked cotton handkerchief. He made so much noise 
that all heads were turned towards him. Had any one said that that 
creature would be my future husband I should not have replied. I 
should have treated the remark with silent contempt. Yet under the 
most embarrassing circumstances, with all eyes turned upon him, and 
amid a peal of laughter my future spouse slowly and carefully folded his 
handkerchief, looking at the company over his spectacles, at the same 



150 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



time changing the mouthpiece of his instrument with a calmness per- 
fectly charming to behold. This singular proof of sang-froid caused me 
to turn my eye-glass upon him. He no doubt remarked this movement, 
for he immediately took off his cap, adjusted the short hair on his big 
head, replaced his spectacles, settled his tie, and pulled down his waist- 
coat. There is no monster, however ugly, who would not do the same, in 
his position. His eye which caught mine seemed to me most brilliant. 

There was as little doubt of his ugliness as of his strange emotion. 
I was young, silly and coquettish, so it amused me to be looked at like 
this. The chief mounted his throne and the music commenced anew. 
The fat clarionet player cast a last glance at me, and then pulled himself 
together for work. He had started a trifle behind-hand, and galloped 
over his part to make up for lost time turning over two pages at 
once, and running up and down with his big fingers on his unfortunate 
pipe, producing the most hideous snortings imaginable the conductor, 
red as a peony flower, called to him in the midst of the noise menacing 
him with his bow. His neighbours pushed him, trod on his toes, 
hooted him, and showered invectives on his head, but he calmly 
pursued his notes;, no doubt blowing through his pipe a hurricane of 
rage. Knowing I was the sole cause of the delirium I felt flattered ; 
I pitied and loved him ! After about a quarter of an hour he stopped, 
and placing his clarionet between his legs, proceeded to rub his round 
head with his cotton handkerchief. 

On leaving the play, at about half-past eleven, it rained slightly, and 
on passing the stage entrance we were nearly knocked down by an 
individual wearing a white hairy hat. I can still see him coming out 
of the door and bearing down upon us I say us, because my mother 
was with me ; I had not yet ventured to the theatre alone. 

" Ladies," cried the Bull-dog, " you have, I daresay, already guessed 
that the white hat shelters the clarionet. Ladies, stop for heaven's 
sake!" 

" Why ? how ? How dare you accost us in this manner ; stand on 
one side, sir, stand on one side ! " said my mother with a lofty air. 

Before such a show of nobility the musician stammered, only taking 
off" his hat. "It rains, ladies, and you have no umbrella, deign to 
accept mine." 

My mother who has always been careful, feared water quite as much 
as she did fire, and accordingly was fain to accept this umbrella, never 
dreaming that it would lead me to the altar of Hymen. 



THE INCONSISTENCIES OF A GREYHOUND. 131 

I purposely refrain from dwelling on details as uninteresting to the 
reader as they are irritating to myself. The bold musician taking 
advantage of the introduction afforded by an unlucky shower of rain 
had paid us several visits, when at last my mother said to me, 

" Eliza, tell me frankly, what do you think of him?" 

" Who, mamma?" I said inquiringly; "the musician? " 

" Yes, little rogue, the clarionet, the young Bull-dog who wants 
your hand. You know quite well I am speaking of him." 

" But, mamma, I find him so horribly ugly." 

" So do I, my dear; but you have not answered my question." 

" Oh ! ah ! well ! he is vulgar, grotesque, and is as disagreeable as 
the rain. 1 ' 

"Quite so," said my mother; "but again that is not the point. 
Does he please you when viewed as a sober, steady, desirable hus- 
band 1 " 

" I won't say he does not," and I burst into tears. 

" Come, no nonsense," said my mother ; " I know you would like to 
be married, and this Bull-dog has many advantages. His double posi- 
tion as clarionet and trombone to the parish secures for him a comfort- 
able living. What more can one require of a husband? I think, iny 
child, that physical beauty and grace are only fleeting, besides you 
yourself have beauty enough and to spare to adorn a whole family. 
It is by the intelligent union of opposite natures that conjugal felicity 
is best secured. Well, that being so, it becomes a positive advantage 
for you to acquire a thoroughly ugly husband, a heavy, taciturn, serious, 
h&rd-working husband, who is certain to be a model of economy and 
a flection." 

I saw at a glance that my mother was right, and gave my consent. 
Had it all to be done over again, I think now I should do exactly as 
I did then. A sure, steady husband is a great prize in life. It is 
always good to have bread on the shelf, and one must be very stupid 
indeed not to be able to get little luxuries. 
I therefore said : " Let us marry ! " 

Do not human beings say : " Let us take our degree ; it will be the 
making of us." 

To say my honeymoon was long and delightful, or that I dis- 
covered a hitherto unknown mine of devotion and romance beneath 
the hard crust of my husband's unsightly exterior, would be simply 
fiction. It is much nearer the mark to say at once that the coarse 



152 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

nature of my spouse soon revealed itself in all its odiousness. His 
every look, every movement, wounded my refined susceptibility. He 
rose at daybreak, and awoke me with the snorting of his clarionet,, 
which he played with that degree of obstinacy and labour which 
belongs to mediocrity. 

" Softly, my dear, softly ; I tell you it would be better so," I would 
say. 

He strove with all his might to modulate the notes, but for all that 
his tenderest passages made everything tremble. I even shook with 
rage ! What irritated me most was that his instrument monopolised 
his whole attention. 

" Won't you take a walk ? have a little fresh air ? " I would say to- 
him. " You must feel tired, dear." 

I could have beaten him. When we walked out together he used 
to stop and gossip at all the street corners, turning up all sorts of 
filthy heaps. Oh, how he made me suffer; he was born to be a butcher's 
dog. How many times has he not left me to pick up a bone, or 
quarrel with some inoffensive dog ? His loud laugh and vulgar con- 
versation with ill-conditioned curs, and . . . 

I began to hate him ; he bothered me, irritated me beyond measure. 
J own he would have cut himself in quarters to make our home happy r 
and he worked like a slave. But, alas ! money can never compensate 
for a badly-assorted match. Little by little I withdrew myself from 
his company, and took to loitering about alone. I frequented a public 
garden, the resort of the aristocratic world, where every one was seen 
to advantage. My delight knew no bounds when I discovered that I 
was much noticed. I had found my own set at last. 

One day I remember walking along a shady alley when I heard 
a voice whisper, "Oh, madam, how happy would he be who, in the- 
midst of the crowd, could attract your attention." These words, so 
respectfully uttered, and so full of a something, a sort of passionate 
earnestness, pleased me immensely. I turned and beheld a well- 
dressed, beautiful insect flying near me. His manner was so graceful 
and his flight so fashionable, that I at once perceived he had moved 
in the higher circles of the air-istocracy ; besides, he seemed to me to 
know his value, and to account himself a very fine fellow indeed. 

" Ah, Greyhound ! " he said, " how beautiful you are. What a fine 
head you have a true type of the classic. Your feet would hardly 



THE INCONSISTENCIES OF A GREYHOUND. 153 

soil a lily-leaf. Your silky dress, too, is so simple ; yet it is enough 
to set off such, charms as yours." 

,-stfY;' 




- , _ _ 

' B ; __- -^ _- a 



I quickened my pace, trembling at the audacity of this polished 
flatterer. Still he followed, and his voice vibrated in my ear like 



154 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



delicious music. He had evidently no ordinary appreciation of the 
beautiful. 

"You are married, sweet one? " he added. 

I could not resist the temptation of fancying that my fetters were 
broken, so I replied gaily, " No, I am a widow, sir ! " 

I saw no harm in this flirtation. What danger was there, after 
all, in the fact that an insect thought me pretty, and expressed his 
admiration *? It cannot be too well impressed, upon all whom it may 
concern, that beauty must be appreciated ; the public gaze is the sun, 
which warms it into bloom, and sustains its vitality ; cold indifference 
first mars, and then destroys it. Our coquetry simply expresses a natural 
craving for being seen, a thoroughly honest and respectable ambition. 
I had no shade of guilty intention, or exaggerated pride ; it was only 
the consciousness of a tribute, paid daily by the sun to the flower 
which opens to display its charms to the heavenly gaze. I looked 
upon this tribute of the world as my right. To prove that I was the 
most virtuous greyhound in Paris, I felt intoxicated by the words of 
my new admirer. 

" Your eyes are terribly bright," said my husband on my return 
home. He was polishing a bone in a corner of our kennel where he 
had picked it up, I do not know "your voice is sweeter than usual." 

" To please you, my eyes must grow dim and my voice husky," I 
replied. 

Nothing is more galling than these simple remarks some people are 
always making, and asking why you detest them. My spouse was 
growing more and more distasteful to me. The trouble he takes to 
please me is most annoying. I hate to profit by his ridiculous labour, 
to eat his bread ; all the time thinking that I owe it to the infernal 
clarionet he plays so badly. His irritating temper is killing me, his 
unutterable calm and absolute self-control compel me to shut up within 
myself all my bad temper, my indignation, my scorn ! This sort of 
thing is perfectly frightful when one is nervous. 

Life became a burden, and the polished insect soon found it out, for 
he followed me about with his dreamy, delicious buzzing. 

" Greyhound, you are unhappy ! you are suffering ! I feel it, I see 
it. Grief ought not to touch a heart so tender," he said in tones so 
pathetic, that I looked upon him as a deliverer. 

" Care will line your forehead and tarnish your beauty ! " 

I shuddered. What he said was, alas ! too true, anxiety would cer- 



THE INCONSISTENCIES OF A GREYHOUND. 155 



tainly rob me of my charms, clog my steps, and veil my eyes. His 
words kindled my wrath against my husband, who would surely bring 
this grief upon me. 

" Wt-11," pursued the insect, "why not amuse yourself, come with 
me into the woods. Go on in front, and I shall follow, so that I may 
admire you, and drive away your gloom with my songs. Come, let us 
fly from the city-throng, and fill our breasts with the pure air of the 
fields." 

I was choking; air I must have, air at any price. " To-morrow at 
such an hour, be at such a place, and we shall go out together." 

It must not be thought, that by granting a rendezvous to this insect, 
I yielded to foolish sentiment. I simply did it to oblige him, because 
he rendered justice to my charms, and spoke ceaselessly about me. 

AVhen I reached home that evening, I suppose my face must have 
expressed more than usual disgust, for my musician stood looking at 
me for several minutes without uttering a single word, and then two 
large tears rolled down his cheeks; he was grotesque. Nothing is 
more dreadful than an ugly animal, who adds to his ugliness the 
horrors of grief. I expected a scene and reproaches, my heart swelled 
within me, as I said to myself, " Let him but speak, get angry, curse 
me ; I will do the same, and oppose anger to anger. Passion is like a 
storm, when it has burst and is over, it refreshes the earth. I began 
to sing snatches of songs, like little bits of forked lightning, to bring 
about the crisis. But he did nothing, and said nothing, two or three 
times he sniffed badly, and carefully placing his clarionet in its dirty 
case, put on his cap, and said 

" Good night, my dear, I am going to the theatre." 

AVhnt did these tears mean ; did he think that he was odious to me ? 
He did not seem jealous ; how could he be so ? was I not the most 
irreproachable, and, at the same time, most miserable of wives? Oh, 
if I had only something to break, scratch, or bite ! How he does make 
me suffer ! 

Next day at the appointed hour, we met at our rendezvous. My 
fine companion, who had been impatiently waiting for me, exclaimed, 
" How beautiful you are ! let us start for the woods." 

" Yes," I replied, quite flattered, " I am ready." 

So off we started. Although my mind was made up, a certain fore- 
boding of evil troubled me. I could not throw it off. It occurred to me 
that I had gone too far, and was approaching the edge of a volcano. 



156 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 




THE INCONSISTENCIES OF A GREYHOUND. 157 

" What is the matter, dear ? : ' said the insect. 

"Do you not see those ambulating musicians over there at that 
window ? " 

" Yes ; they are showing performing Beetles to the inmates of the 
house. It seems to me they have to work hard for a living." 

"Doubtless, but I am afraid, they look so strange. Please let us 
go some round-about way ; I am trembling." 

We followed a street to the left, and continued our course, yet I 
felt uneasy. It was a presentiment, for that day I had one of the 
most disagreeable meetings imaginable. We were just emerging from 
the suburbs when I descried in a corner an obscure mass, which turned 
out to be one of those performing Bears who figure at fairs and 
markets. He was making a Tortoise go through all sorts of wonderful 
exercises. Nothing was more natural than to meet this Bear, and 
yet I shivered all over. As my fears seemed unfounded, we continued 
to advance, and came close to the performer. The keen eye of this 
monster shot forth fire, and he sprang forward to bar my way. 

''What are you doing here, madam?" he exclaimed, crossing his 
arms. 

" Pray what does it matter to you what madam is doing here ? " 
said my protector. " On my honour you are a bold fellow. Who are 
you, I pray? Speak ! Who are you?" 

" Who am I ? " he breathed heavily. " I am the husband of this 
lady." 

Saying which, he threw off the bearskin disguise, and revealed 
the clarionet, the musician, the Bull-dog, my husband, in fact, pale as 
death and a prey to horrible passion. He was frightful ; although, to 
tell the truth, I liked him better excited, furious, grinding his teeth 
with rage, than calm and resigned, with tears in his eyes. He was 
really not so ugly as usual. Unfortunately the picture was spoilt by 
the cap which he kept on his head. That was a fault not to be par- 
doned. Readers of the opposite sex will hardly understand how it is 
that no detail escapes us. 

" Madam," said my husband gravely. 

This was another defect of his, to be grave ! It was evident that he 
had prepared a speech, and weighed its effects. The insect hidden 
behind my ear said in a low voice: "What! is it possible, my queen 
of beauty, that you are married to this brute ? " 

I blushed to the tip of my nose. 



158 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



" Madam," continued my master. ' Mada " 

Here he sneezed in the most comical manner. Perhaps a hair of the 
bearskin had got lodged in his nose. I laughed loudly, and quite as 
involuntarily as he had sneezed. 

"Madam, follow me," continued my husband, quite losing his head. 
" This is too much ; follow me ! " 

"I advise him not to touch you," said my protector, still hiding 
behind my ear ; " as I really think I should not be responsible for my 
actions. I feel savage ! " 

He had not time to finish his sentence. My husband, as quick as 
lightning, seized him as he was flying, and mutilated him horribly. I 
do not know what followed. I became mad, and by a violent effort 
disengaged myself from my husband's paws, and jumping over his 
head, started off. I soon turned to look back, and saw the Bull-dog 
struggling with the police, making desperate efforts to get free, but 
the bearskin got entangled about his feet, and paralysed his move- 
ments, and at last he was carried off prisoner, followed by a jeering 
crowd. 

So, I reflected, I am free ; and pursued my way. The pure bracing 
air and deep blue of the sky had lost their charm. My breast was 
filled with indignation. I felt humiliated by this absurd jealousy, 
this scandalous outburst at once comic and tragic. The comic element 
annoyed me most. This prosaic clarionet appearing all at once upon 
the scene to dispel the dream of my life can he ever be forgiven ? 
After wandering about till I was giddy, I bent my steps homeward, 
and on entering found the place empty. It seemed to me I had lost 
something or some one. In truth, the deserted kennel filled me with 
strange longings for my poor husband. One gets used even to ugly, 
awkward things. If camels were at one fell swoop deprived of their 
humps, they would feel strange without them. 

At this moment a letter was handed to me, ornamented with an im- 
posing seal. It was an invitation from the authorities to be present at 
my husband's examination. The disguise in which he had been found, 
as well as a weapon discovered in his shoe, told badly against him. 

Next day after breakfast I had risen very late and after finishing 
my toilet set out for prison to cheer niy husband. It proved a great 
trial to my nerves. I passed through damp, dark corridors, enormous 
keys grating in horrible locks ; heavy doors barred with iron were 



THE INCONSISTENCIES OF A GREYHOUND. 159 



opened, and I entered a place crowded by miserable, ill-conditioned, 
dirty, repulsive animals. 




Picking my steps into the midst of this filthy den, afraid to breathe 



160 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



the vitiated air, I beheld my husband seated in a corner. Expecting 
reproaches and a tragic scene, I held myself in readiness to stand my 
ground. But contrary to my expectations he lay down at my feet and 
sobbed, begging my forgiveness. 

I was quite touched although the scene afforded amusement to the 
other prisoners and resolved to do my best to obtain his release. I 
am naturally tender-hearted, too much so indeed. It was most proper 
on his part, that he owned his faults and ugliness, and rendered homage 
to my beauty. 

I went -at once to the presiding judge, who, viewing me over his 
spectacles, was astonished at my attractive appearance. He was clever, 
amiable, and leisurely, so that the trial of my husband lasted a long time. 

Now is the moment when I must own a strange fact, and let in the 
light on a hitherto dark recess in my heart. Hardly was my Bull-dog 
incarcerated than my hatred of him changed to affection. He was no 
longer there for me to grumble at, and every time my eyes caught his 
clarionet in the corner they filled with tears. I was almost frightened 
at the power this morally and physically imperfect creature had over 
me, and the place he had filled in my life. His comical face, his cap, 
even his silence were wanting. I never knew where to vent my bad 
temper, which at times made me feel fit to burst. I tried to distract my 
attention, fearing lest my health should give way, but it was of no avail. 
I hardly dare to say it, I loved my Bull-dog, the jealous clarionet, I 
loved him ! For all that, consideration for my feelings prevented 
me repeating my visit to the noxious prison which caused me a 
dreadful attack of neuralgia. 

Thanks to my keeping him out of sight, his image became idealised 
in my imagination. In my dreams he appeared clothed in charms 
not his own. The news of his release was such a shock to my nerves 
that I nearly fainted. I rejoiced in his freedom. Soon after he arrived, 
but oh dear, how ugly he was ! His coat was dirty, and his whole 
being steeped in an odour most offensive. A block of ice had fallen on 
my heart. 

" My Greyhound ! my wife ! my darling ! " he cried, running to meet 
me. 

" Good morning, my friend," I replied, averting my nose. I had no 
courage to say more, my dreams had vanished. 

All this passed long ago. Now my indignation brings the smile to 
my lips. Nothing more. I have learned to make the most of my 



THE INCONSISTENCIES OF A GREYHOUND. 161 

bargain. If I made a mistake, and married a clarionet in place of a 
first-class tenor, I determined not to die of grief, but rather to be as 
brave as beautiful, and devote myself to cultivating all that was good in 
my Bull-dog. He has left off wearing his cap, and positively plays 
better ; his walk is improved, and, by the dim light of the lamp, his 
profile is marked by a certain character. 

"How pretty you are, little heartless one," he sometimes says. I 
reply in the same tone, " How ugly you are, my fat jealous one." 





THE PORTRAIT-PAINTER. 




AM his heir, I was his confidant, so 
that no one can better relate his 
history than myself. 



Born in a virgin forest in Brazil 
where his mother rocked him on in- 
terlacing boughs when quite young 
he was caught by Indian hunters and 
sold at Rio, r with a collection of parrots, paroquets, humming-birds, and 
buffalo-skins. He was brought to Havre in a ship, where he became the 
pet of the sailors, who, in addition to teaching him to handle the ropes, 
made him acquainted with all manner of tricks. His sea-life was so 
full of fun and frolic, that he would never have regretted quitting his 
forest home had he not left the warm sunshine behind. 

The captain of the ship, who had read " Voltaire," called him Topaz, 
after Rustan's good valet, because he had a bare, yellow face. Before 
arriving in port, Topaz had received an education similar to that of his 



TOPAZ THE PORTRAIT-PAINTEP. 163 

fellow countryman on the barge, Vert- Vert, who shocked the nuns by 
his manner. That of Topaz was also decidedly briny, as was quite 
natural from his nautical experience. Once in France, he might easily 
have passed for a second Lazarelle de Tormes, or another Gil Bias, if 
one cared to name all the masters under which he studied up to the 
time of full-grown Monkeyhood. 

Suffice it to say, that as a youth he lodged in an elegant boudoir in 
the rue Neuve-Saint-Georges, where he was the delight of a charming 
personage, who finished his education by treating him as a spoilt 
child. He led an easy life, and was happier than a prince. In an 
unlucky hour he bit the nose of a respectable old dotard called the 
Count, the protector of his fair mistress. This liberty so incensed the 
old gentleman, he at once declared that the lady must choose between 
him and the beast, one of the two must leave the house. 

The tyranny of a rich, old husband prevailed, and Topaz was secretly 
sent to the studio of a young artist, to whom the lady had been sitting 
for her portrait. 

This event, simple in itself, opened up for him a new career. Seated 
on a wooden form in place of a silken couch, eating crusts of stale 
bread and drinking plain water instead of orange syrup, Topaz was 
brought to well-doing by misery, the great teacher of morality and 
virtue, when it does not sink the sufferer deeper into the slough of 
debauchery and vice. Having nothing better to do, Topaz reflected on 
his precarious, dependent position, and his mind was filled with a long- 
ing for liberty, labour, and glory. He felt he had come to the critical 
point of his life, when it was necessary for him to choose a profession. 
No career seemed to offer the same freedom and boundless prospects as 
that followed by the successful artist. This became a settled conviction 
in his mind, and, like Pareja the slave of Velasquez, he set himself to 
picking up the secrets of the limner's art, and might be seen daily 
perched on the top of the easel, watching each mixture of colour, and 
each stroke of the brush. As soon as his master's back was turned, he 
descended, and going over the work with a light hand, and a second 
coat of colours, retired one or two paces to admire the effect. During 
such moments he might be heard muttering between his teeth, the 
words used by Corregio, and later by the crowd of youthful geniuses 
with which Paris is inundated : Ed io anche son pittore. One day, when 
his vanity caused him to forget his usual prudence, the master caught 
him at work. He had entered his studio elated with joy, having 



1 64 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

received a commission to paint a cartoon of the Deluge, for a church at 
Boulogne-sur-Mer, where it rains all the year round. Nothing renders 
one so generous as self-satisfaction ; instead, therefore, of taking the 
mahl-stick and beating his disciple, "In good faith," he said, like a 
second Velasquez, " since you wish to be an artist, I give you your 
liberty, and, instead of my servant, I make you my pupil." 

Here Topaz became an historical pilferer ; he arranged his hair like 
the powdered wig of a country priest, caught together the straggling 
hairs of his beard into a point, put on a high-peaked hat, dressed 
himself in a tight-fitting coat over which the ruffle of his shirt fell in 
folds, and, in short, tried to look as much as possible like a portrait of 
Van Dyck. Thus attired, with his portfolio under his arm, and colour- 
box in hand, he began to frequent the schools. But, alas ! like so many 
apprentice artists, who are men with all their faculties fully developed, 
Topaz followed the empty dreams of his ambition, rather than the- 
teaching of common sense. It was not long before he found this out. 
When the works of his master were not available, he had to begin with. 
the bare canvas, and unaided lay in outline, form, light, shadow, and 
colour ; when, in fact, instead of imitation, originality and talent were 
required, then, alas ! good-bye to the visions of Topaz. It was no good 
his working, perspiring, worrying, knocking his head, tearing his beard. 
Pegasus, always restive, refused to carry him to the Helicon of fortune 
and renown. In plain English, he did nothing worth the materials 
wasted in its production : masters and pupils urged him to choose some 
other means of making a living. 

" Be a mason, or a shoemaker ; your talent lies more in the direction 
of trade ! " It was in truth a pity that Topaz full-grown ape as he 
was should have been the slave of his narrow pride and vanity. That 
he should have aspired to fill a grand, generous, imposing, humanlike 
roll. I have often heard him say he would follow the example of 
the men of the Middle Ages, study medicine among the Arabs ; and 
then return to teach it to the Christians. His foolish ambition was to 
transmit, from cultured men to apes, the knowledge of art, and, by 
idealising his fellows in portraiture, to place them on the level of the 
Lords of Creation. His chagrin was as profound as his project had 
been visionary. Wounded by the dreadful fall his vanity had sustained,, 
sulky, ashamed, discontented with the world and with himself, Topaz,, 
losing his sleep, appetite, and vivacity, fell into a languishing illness- 



TOPAZ THE PORTRAIT-PAINTER. 165 

which threatened his life. Happily he had no physician, Nature fought 
out the battle for herself, and won. 

About this time Daguerre, a scenic artist, completed the discovery 
which has rendered his name famous. He made an important step in 
science by fixing the photographic image, so that objects, animate and 
inanimate, might be caught on a silver plate. Thus photography became 
the handmaid of science and art. I had just made the acquaintance of 
a musical genius human to whom nature had refused both voice and 
ear ; he sang out of tune, danced out of time, and for all that, was 
passionately fond of music. He had masters for the piano, flute, hunt- 
ing-horn, and^ accordion. He tried the different methods of Wilhem, 
Paston, Cheve, and Jocotot. None of them answered, he could neither 
produce time nor harmony ; what did he do in order to satisfy his 
taste ? He bought a barrel-organ and took his money's worth out of 
it, by turning the handle night and day. He certainly had the wrist 
of a musician. 

It was a similar expedient which brought back Topaz to life, with its 
hopes of fame, fortune, and apostolic insignia. The Jesuits and Turks 
say the end justifies the means, so, acting on this philosophic saying, 
Topaz adroitly stole a purse from a rich financier who was sleeping in 
his master's studio, while the latter was trying to paint his portrait. 
With this treasure he bought his barrel-organ, a photographic camera, 
and learning how to use it, he all at once became artist, painter, and 
man of science. 

This talent acquired, added to a brace of fine names, he felt already 
half way towards reaching the coveted goal. To realise his hopes, he 
took his passage at Havre in a ship about to cross the Atlantic, and 
after a prosperous voyage, again set foot on the shore where, only a few 
years before, he had embarked for France. What a change had come 
over his position. From Monkey-boy he had become Monkey-man. 
In place of a prisoner of war he had become free, and above all, from 
an ignorant brute the condition in which Nature sent him into the 
world he had developed into a sort of civilised ape. His heart beat 
fast as he landed on his native soil. It was sweet to visit familiar 
scenes, after so long an absence. Without losing so much time as I 
take to write, he started off, camera on back, to seek the grand soli- 
tudes of his infancy, where he hoped to become the pioneer of progress. 
In his secret heart he owned it to me there was still the burning 
desire for fame. He hoped to create a sensation, to be regarded as 



1 66 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

more than a common beast ; to enjoy the victory he would so easily 
win, over the natives of the country, by his title of Illustrious Traveller,, 
backed by his knowledge and his wonderful machine. These were his 
true sentiments, but he cherished the delusion that he was impelled 
onwards by the irresistible force which urges forward the predestined 
ones the leaders of mankind to play their part in the world. 
Arrived at the scene of his birth, without even looking up his friends 
and relatives, Topaz pitched his camp in a vast glade, a sort of public 
common which Nature had reserved in the forest. There, aided by a 
black-faced Sapajo called Ebony, after the other servant of Rustan, 
who became his slave after the manner of men, who find in colour a 
sufficient reason for drawing the line which separates master from 
slave, Topaz set up an elegant hut of branches beneath an ample 
shade of banana leaves, and above his door he placed a signboard, bear- 
ing the fable, "Topaz, painter after the Parisian fashion;" and on the 
door itself, in smaller letters, " Entrance to the Studio." After sending. 
a number of magpies to announce his arrival, to all the country round, 
he opened his shop. 

In order to place his services within the reach of all as no currency 
had ever yet been instituted Topaz adopted the ancient custom of 
receiving payment in kind. A hundred nuts, a bunch of bananas, six 
cocoa-nuts, and twenty sugar-canes, was the price of a portrait. As the 
inhabitants of the Brazilian forest were still in the golden age, they 
knew nothing whatever about property, heritage, or the rights of mine 
and thine. They knew that the earth and its fruits were free to all, 
and that a good living might be picked off the trees, and an indifferent 
living off the ground. Topaz had many difficulties to contend against ; 
by no means the least was the fact that no one is great in his own 
country, and especially among his own friends. The first visits he- 
received were from monkeys, a quick and curious, but also a very 
spiteful, race. 

Hardly had they seen the camera in action before they set to work 
to make spurious imitations of the dark box. Instead of admiring, 
honouring, and recompensing their brother for his toil in bringing thi& 
art- treasure to their country, they strove to discover his secret, and 
reap the profits of his labour. Here, then, was our artist at war with 
counterfeiters. Happily it was not a simple case of reprinting an Eng- 
lish book in Germany or America. The apes might puzzle their brains, 
and toil with their four feet, and even combine one with the other 



TOPAZ THE PORTRAIT-PAINTER. 167 



amongst them, as elsewhere, one can easily find accomplices to carry 
out a bad scheme, all they could do, was to make a box and cover 
like the camera and focusing cloth of Topaz ; but they had neither lens 
nor chemicals. After many trials and as many failures, they became 
furious, and planned the ruin of Topaz ; thus proving the truth of the 
saying, " One must look for enemies among one's fellow-countrymen, 
friends, and relations ; even in one's own house " 

" Arafta; quien te arano Otra arana como yo." 

But no matter, merit makes its own way in defiance of envy and 
hatred, and finds its true level like oil that rises to the surface of water. 
It so happened that a personage of importance, an animal of weight, a 
Boar in fact, passing through the glade and seeing the signboard, 
paused to reflect. It seemed to this Boar that one need not of necessity 
be a quack or charlatan, because one comes from a distance, or because 
one offers something new and startling ; also that a wise, moderate, 
impartial spirit always takes the trouble to examine things before con- 
demning them. Another and much more private reason tempted the 
thoughtful Boar to test the stranger's talent; for side by side with 
the great actions of life there is frequently some petty, contemptible 
secret, and personal motive which, as it were, supplies the mainspring 
of action. This little motive is always studiously concealed, even from 
its owner's view, like the mainspring of a watch in its shining case. 
But the little spring, true to its work, marks the time on the dial, the 
hour, minute, and second, which heralds the birth of all that is noble, 
and all that is mean in life. This applies with kindred force to the 
instinct of brutes, and aspirations of merr. 

Our Boar was a lineal descendant of the companion of Ulysses who, 
touched by the wand of Circe, is supposed to have addressed his 
captain thus 

" How am I changed ? My beauty as a boar I'll prove, 
How knowest thou, one form is worst, another best ? 
Grace and good breeding are in my form express'd, 
At least it has been said so by those who know." 

He was a trifle foppish and very much in love. It was to make a 
gift to his betrothed he wished for a portrait. 

Entering the studio he paid down double the usual price, as this 
Boar was the most liberal member of his government. He then seated 
himself solidly down in his appointed place where his steadiness and 



1 68 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



unconcern rendered him a capital subject for the camera. Topaz on 
his part exercised all his skill in posing, lighting, and photographing. 




The portrait was a perfect gem, his lordship was delighted. The little 



TOPAZ THE PORTRAIT-PAINTER. 169 

image seemed to reduce his bulk in every way, while the silvery grey 
of the metallic plate replaced with advantage the sombre monotony of 
his dark coat. It was a most agreeable surprise, and fast as his bulk 
and dignity would permit him, he hastened to present the picture to his 
idol. The loved one was in rapture, and by a peculiar feminine instinct 
she first suspended the miniature round her neck, then, as instinctively, 
called together her relatives and friends to form an admiring circle 
around her lover's portrait. Thanks to her enthusiasm, before the day 
was over, all the animal inhabitants for miles round were appraised of 
the marvellous talent of Topaz, who soon became quite the rage. His 
cabin was visited at all hours of the day, the camera was never for a 
moment idle. As for Sapajo he had more than enough to do in prepar- 
ing the plates for every new comer. With the exception of the apes 
there *was not a single creature in earth, air, or water, who had not 
sat for a likeness to the famous Topaz. 

One of his chief patrons was a Royal bird, the sovereign of a winged 
principality, who arrived surrounded by a brilliant staff of general 
officers and aide-de-camps. The artist was greatly annoyed by the 
remarks of a group of obsequious courtiers who bent over the desk 
alternately praising the prince, and criticising the portraits. The 
finished work, nevertheless, afforded satisfaction to the potentate who, 
proud of his tufted crown and brilliant feathers, gazed fondly down 
upon his image. 

His conduct was quite different from that of the Boar. Although the 
king was accompanied by a splendid pea-hen, his wife by morganatic 
marriage, he himself retained the portrait, and, like Narcissus, before 
the fountain, fell in love with his own image. Happy are they who 
love themselves. They need not fear coldness, or disdain. They can 
feel no grief of absence, or pangs of jealousy. If the sayings of human 
philosophers are true, love is only a form of self-esteem which leaves its 
habitual abode, seeking to extend its dominion over the passions of 
another. 

To return to Topaz, he touched up his portraits to suit the taste 
and vanity of his customers. In this, it must be owned, he did not 
always succeed. Some of his clients were all beak, and had no 
focus in them; others could not sit steady for a second, the result 
was, they figured on the plate with two heads, and a group of hands 
like Vishnu, the heathen god. They jerked their tails at some fatal 
moment, rendering them invisible in the photograph. Pelicans thought 



170 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



their beaks too long. Cockatoos complained of the shortness of 
theirs. Goats said their beards had been tampered with. Boars held 
that their eyes were too piercing. Squirrels wanted action. Chame- 
leons changing colour ; while the donkey thought his portrait incom- 
plete without the sound of his mellifluous voice. Most comical 
of all the owl, who had shut his eyes to the sun, maintained that 
he was represented stone-blind, thus destroying his chief attraction. 
In the laboratory of Topaz, as in the painter's studio, might be seen 
constantly in attendance a troop of young lions, the sons of the aris- 
tocracy, who came to loiter away their leisure. They prided them- 
selves in being judges of art, called all the muscles of the face by their 
anatomical names ; and spoke of graceful sweeps, handling of the brush, 
tooling, modelling, breadth of expression, &c., &c. Under pretext of 
enjoying the society of the artist, they twitted and laughed at his 
clients. To the crow, if he showed face at the entrance with his 
glossy black coat, and gouty, magisterial step, they cried in chorus 

" Oh ! good morning, Mr. Crow, come in, nothing shows up so well 
as a good, black coat." Then they gently reminded him of his adven- 
ture with the fox and the stolen cheese. 

One day a good fellow, a duck, left his reeds and swamps, and came 
with much ado to the studio, desirous of seeing his image to greater 
perfection than in his native stream. As soon as he appeared, one of 
the clique approached and taking off his cap, said 

"Ah, sir, you must be a great observer, you constantly move from 
side to side. What is the news 1 " 

No one escaped their sarcasm many were offended, many more lost 
their temper, and as for Topaz, he lost some of his best customers. 
But he really could not afford to offend the lions, as they belonged to 
good families, and were careful to flatter his vanity ; besides, they were 
by no means bad fellows, when in their generous moods. 

In spite of these petty troubles and annoyances who is exempt 
from them in this world 1 Topaz filled his barns ; and his fame in- 
creased, keeping pace with his fortune. He perceived that the time 
had arrived for him to fill a larger field. His own industry had 
secured for him riches and honour, but the dream of his life was yet 
unfulfilled. Why should he not embrace the golden opportunity, and 
become a great teacher, a benefactor of his kind 1 His fame had reached 
the ears of a distant potentate, an Elephant-sovereign whose territory 
was somewhere no matter where it had never found its way into any 



TOPAZ & SAPAJO, 

SlNGEOOKAP.'Ii:!^, 




i/2 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

map ; no civilised being had ever set foot on his soil. This Elephant 
sent an embassy to the Parisian painter, charged with the mission 
of bringing Topaz to his court. He was an elephantine Francis I., 
calling to his presence another Leonardo da Vinci. His brilliant offers 
were at once accepted. This is how absolute monarchs proceed in 
their caprices, Topaz was promised, besides a considerable share of the 
native produce, the title of Cacique, and the ribbon of the ivory tooth. 
The artist set off mounted on a horse, and followed by a mule, bearing 
his faithful Sapajo and his precious machine. He at length arrived 
without accident at the court of the Sultan Poussal. Topaz was at 
1 once introduced to his Royal Highness, by the usual Minister of Eites 
and Ceremonies. The artist prostrated himself before the potentate, 
who gracefully raised him with the point of his proboscis, and allowed 
him to kiss one of his enormous feet, the same foot which later 
but I must not anticipate events. His Massive Majesty was in such a 
ferment of impatient curiosity, that before taking any rest or refresh- 
ment, Topaz was requested to unpack his box and set to work without 
delay. He accordingly prepared his instrument, heated his drugs, and 
selected his finest plate for the royal image. The plate was small, but 
it was necessary that the entire elephant should figure on its surface. 

" Good," said Topaz, " since it is a miniature His Majesty requires, I 
am certain he will be delighted with the result (Topaz recalled his 
early experience with the Boar). 

He placed the king as far as possible from the camera so as to 
diminish his image and fill the plate, after which he conducted his 
operations with the nicest care. All the courtiers awaited the result 
with anxiety as profound as if it were the casting of a statue. The sun 
was scorching. After a few minutes the artist took up the plate lightly, 
and triumphantly presented it to the gaze of His Majesty ; hardly had 
the king cast his eyes upon it, when he burst into a loud laugh, and 
without knowing why, all the courtiers joined in the royal hilarity. It 
was like an Olympian scene. 

"What is this? "roared the Elephant as soon as he could speak. 
tl That is the portrait of a rat, and you presume to say it is me ? You 
are joking, my friend " (the laughter still continued), " why," continued 
the king after silence had been restored, his tone getting gradually 
more and more severe, " it is owing to my great size and strength that 
I have been chosen king. Were I to exhibit this miserable portrait to 
my subjects they would imagine I was an v insect, a weak, hardly per- 



TOPAZ THE PORTRAIT-PAINTER. 



173 



ceptible, creature, only fit to be dethroned and crushed. The interest 
of the State, sir, forbids my taking this course," saying which, he 




hurled the plate at the artist, who bowed down to the ground, not so 
much from humility as to escape a shock that would have been fatal to 



174 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



him. " I should have tested the truth of the stories so freely circulated 
about you." 

The king and his ministers were becoming furious. 

" Ugh ! you are one of the hawkers of inventions and secrets, one of 
those innovators we have heard so much of, who prowl about seeking 
what good old institution they can devour ; fellows who would bring 
down our constitution, and heaven itself about our ears, with their 
infernal machines. Bah ! " 

Here the mighty king stepped over the still prostrate body of the 
artist, and approaching the innocent machine in his eyes big with 
the darkest plots ever brewed in the heart of a State full of a no less 
legitimate wrath than Don Quixote, when breaking the marionettes 
of Master Peter, he raised his formidable foot, and crushed the 
camera to atoms. 

Adieu fortune, honour, fame, civilisation ! Adieu art ! adieu artist ! 
At the sound of the smashing which announced his doom, Topaz 
sprang to his feet, and starting off like a man, ended his sorrows in 
the waters of the Amazon. 

He who became his heir and confidant was Ebony, the poor black 
Sapajo, who came over to Europe and studied at one of the universities, 
in order to qualify himself to write this history. 




JOURNEY OF AN AFRICAN J_(ioN TO 

AND WHAT CAME OF JT. 



In which the political reasons for the visit of Prince Leo shall be 
fully discussed. 

AT the foot of the Atlas, on its desert 
side, there reigns an old Lion. Much 
of his youth was spent in travelling. 
He had visited the Mountains of the 
Moon, lived in Barbary, Timbuctoo, 
in the land of the Hottentots, among 
the republicans of Tangier, and among 
Troglodytes. From his universal 
benevolence he acquired the name 
of Cosmopolite, or friend of all the 
world. Once on the throne, it be- 
came his policy to justify the juris- 
prudence of the lions ; carrying this 
beautiful axiom into practice "To 
take is to learn." He passed for 

one of the most erudite monarchs of his time, and, strange as it may 
seem, he utterly detested letters and learning. "They muddle still 
more what was muddled before." This was a saying in which he took 
peculiar delight. 

It was all very well ; his subjects, nevertheless, were possessed by 
an insane craving for progress and knowledge. Claws appeared 
menacing him on all points. The popular displeasure poisoned even 
the members of the Cosmopolite's family who began to murmur. 
They complained bitterly of his habit of shutting himself up with a 
griffin, and counting his treasure without permitting a single eye to 
rest upon the heap. 




176 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE. OF ANIMALS. 



This Lion spoke much, but acted little. Apes, perched on trees, 
took to expounding most dangerous political and social doctrines ; 
tigers and leopards demanded a fair division of the revenue, as 
indeed, in most commonwealths, the question of meat and bones 
divided the masses. 

On various occasions the old Lion had to resort to severe measures 
to quell the public discontent. He employed troops of savage dogs 
and hyenas to act as spies, but they demanded a high price for their 
service. Too old to fight, the Cosmopolite was desirous of ending his 
days peacefully as he said, in Leonine language " to die in his den. n 
Thus his difficulties and the instability of his throne set him to 
scheming. 

When the young princes became troublesome he stopped their 
allowance of food, wisely reflecting that there is nothing like an empty 
stomach for sharpening instinct, and sending the young lions to seek 
food abroad. At last, finding Liona in a state of hopeless agitation, 
he hit upon a very advanced policy for an animal of his age, viewed by 
diplomatists as the natural development of the tricks which rendered 
his youth famous. 

One evening while surrounded by his family, it is recorded that the 
king yawned several times. In the annals of a less enlightened State 
this important fact might have been overlooked. He then uttered 
these memorable words : " I feel age and infirmity creeping on apace. 
I am weary of rolling the stone called royal power. My mane has 
grown grey in the service of my country ; I have spent my strength, 
my genius, and my fortune ; and what, my children, is the result ? 
Simply nothing ! nothing, save discontent ! I ought to lavish bones 
and honours on my supporters. Should I succeed in this, it would 
hardly stifle the national discontent. Every one is complaining, I 
alone am satisfied ; but, alas ! infirmity gains upon me so surely, that 
I have resolved to abdicate in favour of my children. You are young, 
you have energy and cunning ; get rid of the leaders of popular dis- 
content by sending them to victory, to death ! " Here the venerable 
potentate, recalling his youth, growled a national hymn, and ended by 
urging his tender-hearted sons to " sharpen their claws, and bristle 
their manes." 

"Father," said the heir-apparent, "if you are really disposed to 
yield to the national will, I will own to you that the lions from all 



JOVRNEY OF AN AFRICAN LION TO PARIS. 177 




M 



1 78 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS, 

parts of Africa, furious at the far niente of your Majesty, were about to 
take up arms against the State." 

"Ah, my fine fellow," thought the king, " you are attacked by the 
malady of royal princes, and would wish for nothing better than my 
abdication. I shall teach you a lesson." 

"Prince," replied the Cosmopolite in a roar, "one no longer reigns 
by glory, but by cunning. I will convince you of this by placing you 
in harness." 

As soon as the news flashed through Africa, it created a great sensa- 
tion. Never before, in the annals of history, had a Lion of the desert 
been known to abdicate ; some had been dethroned by usurpers, never 
had a king of beasts voluntarily left the throne. The event was there- 
fore viewed with some apprehension, as it had no precedent. 

Next morning at daybreak, the Grand Dog Commander of the Life 
Guards appeared in his gay costume, fully armed, and around him the 
guard ranged in battle-array. The king occupied the throne, sur- 
mounted by the royal arms representing a chimera pursued by a 
poignard. Then, before all the birds composing his court, the great 
Griffin brought the sceptre and crown to the king who addressed the 
young lions in these words, first giving them his benediction the 
only thing he cared to bestow, as he judiciously guarded his treasures 
" Children, I yield you my crown for a few days ; please the people, 
if you can, but do not fail to report progress." Then turning to the 
court, he said in a voice of thunder, " Obey my son, he has my instruc- 
tions ! " 

As soon as the heir was seated on the throne, he was supported by 
a band of young, ardent, ambitious followers, whose pretentious 
doctrines led to the dismissal of the ancient counsellors of the crown. 
Each one desired to sell his advice, so that the number of places fell far 
short of the number of place-hunters. Many were turned back, fired 
with hatred and jealousy which they poured forth to the masses 
in eloquent harangues, stirring up the mud of popular corruption. 
Tumults arose ; schemes for the destruction of the young tyrant were 
everywhere secretly discussed; and the youthful sovereign was privately 
informed that his power was built over a mine of political petroleum 
and social nitro-glycerine. Alarmed, he at last sought the counsel of 
his father who, cunning old rogue, was busy stirring up the slough of 
popular disorder and discontent. The people clamoured for the reinstate- 
ment of the venerable Cosmopolite, who, yielding to the pressure, again 



JOURNEY OF AN AFRICAN LION TO PARIS. 179 



received the sceptre from the hands of his son who was thus com- 
pletely outwitted by his crafty parent. The worthy king, moved no 
doubt by parental love, determined to rid himself of his dutiful heir 
by sending him on a foreign mission. If men have their Eastern 
question to settle, the lions also find matters no less pressing to draw 
their attention to Europe, where their names, their position, and habits 
of conquest, have so long been usurped. Besides, by instituting inter- 
national complications, the Cosmopolite succeeded in engaging the 
attention of his people, and securing the tranquillity of the State. 
Accordingly, the heir-apparent, accompanied by a Tiger in ordinary, 
was sent to Paris on a diplomatic mission. 

We subjoin the official despatches of the prince and his secretary. 

FIRST DESPATCH. 

" SIRE, As soon as your august son had crossed the Atlas Mountains, 
he was warmly received by a discharge of loaded muskets presented 
by the French outposts. We at once understood this to be a graceful 
mark of the homage due to rank. The government officials hastened 
to secure him, and even placed at his disposal a carriage decked with 
bars of solid iron. The prince was constrained to admire the convey- 
ance as one of the triumphs of modern civilisation. We were fed with 
viands the most delicate, and so far, can only speak in praise of the man- 
ners of France. My master and your slave were conveyed on board ship 
and taken to Paris, where we were lodged, at the expense of the state, 
in a delicious abode called the King's Garden. The people flocked to 
see us in such crowds that our staff of men attendants had to put up 
strong iron rails to protect our royal master from the vulgar throng. 
Our arrival was most fortunate, as we found an unusually large gather- 
ing of ambassadors from the animals of all nations collected in the 
garden. In a neighbouring palace I perceived Prince Beanokoff, a 
white Bear from the other side of the ocean, who had visited Paris on 
behalf of his government, and who informed me that we were the 
dupes of France, that the lions of Paris dreading the result of our 
embassy had shut us up ; made us prisoners ! 

" * How can we find these so-called lions of Paris/ I inquired Your 
Majesty will appreciate the action I have taken, in order to uphold your 
high reputation for boldness and fair dealing This Bear, seeming to 
divine my thoughts, replied, that 'Parisian lions dwell in regions 
where asphalt forms the pavement ; where the choicest veneers and 



180 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

varnishes of civilisation are produced, and guarded by spirits called the 
municipal authorities. Go straight on, and when you reach the quarter 
St. Georges, you will find them abounding.' 

"'You ought to congratulate yourself, Prince Beanokoff, to find 
that your name and northern characteristics are not burlesqued in this 
capital.' 

" * Pardon me, the Beanokoffs are no more exempt from the evil than 
are the lions of Leona.' 

" ' Dear Prince Beanokoff, what possible advantage can man derive 
from imitating our attributes 1 ' 

"' Ah ! you have a great deal to learn. Why, look around at the 
pictorial representations of all sorts of animals that figure on the 
scutcheons of the nobility. There you will find that the proudest 
families claim us as their ancestors.' 

" Wishing to make myself fully acquainted with the policy of the 
north, I said to him, 1 1 suppose, my dear Prince, you have already re- 
presented the matter in a proper light to your government 1 ' 

" ' The Bears' cabinet is above dealing with such drivelling questions. 
They are more suited to the capacity of the lower animals, to Lions ! ' 

"' Do you pretend, old iceberg, to ignore the fact that my master 
is the king of beasts ? ' 

" The barbarian remained silent and looked so insulting that with 
one bound I broke the bars of my prison, his Highness, your son, fol- 
lowed my example, and I was about to avenge the insult when the 
Prince judiciously interfered, saying, ' We must for the present avoid 
conflict with the northern powers, our mission is yet unfulfilled.' 

" As this occurred during the night, under cover of darkness, we 
made our way into the Boulevards, where at day-break we heard the 
passing workmen exclaim, ' Oh, what heads ! would any one believe 
they were not real animals 1 ' 3: 

SECOND DESPATCH. 

Prince Leo in Paris during the carnival, His Highness* s opinion of 

what he saw. 

11 YOUR son, with his usual discernment, perceived that we had gained 
our liberty just as the carnival was at its height, and thus might 
come and go without danger. We felt excessively embarrassed, not 
knowing the manners, the usages, or the language of the people. Our 
anxiety was relieved in the following manner : 



JOURNEY OF AN AFRICAN LION TO PARIS. 181 

" Interrupted by severe cold." 

Prince Leo's first letter to his father, the King. 

" MY DEAR AUGUST FATHER, When I left the palace, you, with true 
paternal affection, bestowed almost nothing on me save your blessing. 
Without undervaluing that inestimable gift, I am bound to say I 
can raise hardly anything on it among the miserable money-lenders of 
this city. My dignity must be maintained on something more closely 
resembling coin than a father's benediction. Paris is unlike the desert ; 
everything here is bought and sold. I could even find a ready market 
for my skin, if I could only get on without it. To eat is expensive, 
And to starve, inconvenient. 

"Conducted by an elegant Dog, we made our way along the Boule- 
vards where, owing to our likeness to men, we almost escaped notice. 
At the same time we kept a sharp look-out for the Parisiens they call 
lions. This Dog, who knew Paris perfectly, consented to become our 
guide and interpreter. We were thus enabled like our adversaries to 
pass for men in the disguise of brutes. Had you known, sire, what Paris 
really is, you would never have troubled me with a mission. I often 
fear being compelled to sacrifice my dignity in order to satisfy you. 
On reaching the Boulevard des Italiens it became necessary for me to 
follow the fashion and smoke a cigar, which caused me to sneeze so vio- 
lently as to create a sensation. A popular writer passing, remarked, 
" These young fellows are well up in their parts ! ' 

" 'The question is about to be settled, I said to my Tiger.' 

" ' Rather, 1 suggested the Dog, ' let it remain for a time like the 
Eastern question diplomatic, vague, doubtful, open ! It will pay better 
in the end.' 

" This Dog, Sire, is constantly affording the most astounding proofs 
of his intelligence. It will therefore hardly surprise you, to learn that 
he belongs to a celebrated administration, situated in the Rue de 
Jerusalem, devoted to the guidance of strangers in France. 

" He led us, as I have just said, to the Boulevard des Italiens, where, 
as indeed all over this large town, Nature's share is very small. 
There are trees, but such trees. Instead of pure air, smoke ; instead 
of rain, dust ; so that the leaves are bronzed, and the trees are mere 
sticks, supporting a tuft like the crown of leaves on the brows of the 
bronze heroes of France. There is nothing grand in Paris; everything is 
small, and the cooking is execrable ! I entered a cafe* for breakfast, and 



1 82 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

asked for a horse, but the waiter seemed so astonished that we profited 
by his surprise, took him round the corner and devoured him. The 




Dog cautioned us not to make this a rule, as it might be misunder- 



JOURNEY OF AN AFRICAN LION TO PARIS. 183 



stood. He nevertheless accepted a bone which he polished with 
manifest joy. 

" Our guide rather likes talking politics, and his conversation is not 
without its fruit. I have picked up wonderful scraps of knowledge 
from him. On my return to Leona no tumult shall disturb me, as I 
have discovered the best mode of governing the world. The chief in 
Paris does not rule ; the business of governing and collecting the 
revenue is entrusted to a body of senators. Some of whom are 
descended from sheep, foxes, and donkeys, but the title of statesmen 
has made them lions. When any important question has to be settled, 
they all speak in turn, without paying the slightest attention to the 
views of their predecessors. One discusses the Eastern question, after 
some member who has exhausted himself on the subject of cod-fishing. 
When they have all done talking, it is not unfrequently discovered that 
the wise ones have carried through some important measure, while the 
donkeys have been braying to their heart's content. 

" I noticed a sculpture in the palace, wherein you were represented 
struggling with the revolutionary serpent, a work infinitely superior 
to any of the statues of men by which it was surrounded. Many of 
these poor devils are represented with long dinner-napkins over their 
left arms, just like waiters ; others, with pots on their heads. Such a 
contrast proves our superiority over men, whose imagination delights 
in building stones one upon the other, and cutting on their surface the 
finest flowers and forms of Nature. 

" My Dog informed me that he would take us to a place where wo 
would behold lions, lynxes, panthers, and Paris birds of night. 

" ' Why/ I inquired, * does a lynx live in such a country 1 ?' 

" ' The lynx,' replied the Dog, ' is accustomed to appropriating. 
He plunges into American funds; he hazards the most daring actions 
in broad day and darts into concealment. His cunning consists in 
always having his mouth open, and strangely enough, doves, his chief 
food, are drawn into it.' 

" ' How is that ? ' 

" ' He has cleverly written some word on his tongue which attracts 
the doves.' 

" 'What is the word?' 

"'I ought rather to say words. First, there is the word profit; 
when that has gone it is replaced by dividend ; after dividend comes 
reserve, or interest. The doves are always caught.' 



[84 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



"'Why so?' 

" ' Ah ! we are in a land where men have such a low opinion of 
each other, that the most foolish is certain to find another more foolish 
still some one simple enough to believe that a slip of printed paper 
is a mine of gold. Human governments cannot be held altogether 
blameless, as they have too frequently misled the people by their 
paper. The operation is called "founding public credit." When it 
happens that the credit exceeds the public credulity, all is lost.' 

" Sire, credit does not yet exist in Africa. We might occupy the 
malcontents there by getting them to found a bank. My detache I 
can hardy call my Dog an attache took me to a public cafe", and, by 
the way, explained many of the faults and frailties of beasts. At this 
famed resort there were a number of the animals we had been looking 
for. Thus the question is being cleared up little by little. Just 
imagine, my dear father, a Parisian lion is a young man who wears 
patent-leather boots worth about two pounds, a hat of equal value, as 
he has nothing better to protect in his head than in his feet ; a coat of 
six pounds, a waistcoat of two pounds, trousers, three pounds, gloves, 
five shillings, tie, one pound; add to these rags about one hundred 
pounds for jewellery and fine linen, and you obtain a total of about 
one hundred and sixteen pounds, five shillings. This sum distributed 
as above, renders a man so proud that he at once usurps our name. 
With one hundred and sixteen pounds, five shillings, and, say, nine- 
pence for pocket money, one rises far above the common herd of 
animals of intellect and culture, and obtains universal admiration. If 
one can only lay one's claws on that sum, one is handsome, brilliant. 
One may look with scorn upon the unfortunate poet, orator, man of 
science, whose attire is humble and cheap. You may indeed be what 
you like; if you do not, wear the harness of the authorised maker, 
of the regulation cut and cost, you are certain to be neglected. A 
little varnish on your boots, and the other etceteras make up the 
roaring lion of society. Alas, Sire, I fear the same varnish and 
veneer conceals the hollowness of human vanity. Tear it off, and 
nothing remains. 

" ' My lord ! ' said my detache, seeing my astonishment on beholding 
this frippery, ' it is not every one who knows how to wear these fine 
things. There is a manner, and here, in this country, everything 
resolves itself into a question of manners/ 

" I sincerely wish I had stayed at home ! " 



JOURNEY OF AN AFRICAN LION TO PARIS. 185 

THIRD DESPATCH. 

" SIRE, At the ball, Musard, His Highness, came face to face with a 
Parisian lion. Contrary to all dramatic rules, instead of throwing 
himself into the prince's arms, as a real lion would have done, the 
Parisian counterfeit almost fainted, but plucking up courage he had 
recourse to cunning, and by this talent, common to all low animals, 
wriggled out of the situation. 

" ' Sir,' said your son, ' how is it you take our name ? ' 

" ' Son of the desert/ replied the child of Paris in a humble tone, ' I 
have the honour of observing that you call yourselves lions. We have 
adopted your name.' 

" ' But,' said His Highness, * what right have you, any more than a 
rat, to assume our name 1 ' 

" ' The truth is we are like yourself, flesh eaters, only we eat our 
flesh cooked, you eat yours raw. Do you wear rings 1 ' 

" ' That is not the question.' 

" ' Well then,' continued the Parisian fraud, 'let us reason, and clear 
the matter up. Do you use four different brushes ; one for the hair, 
another for the hands, a third for the nails, and a fourth for the skin ? 
Have you nail scissors, moustache scissors? Seven different sorts of 
perfume 1 Do you pay a man so much a month for trimming your 
corns 1 Perhaps you do not know what a chiropodist is. You have no 
corns, and yet you ask me why we are called lions. I will tell you 
why. We mount horses, write romances, exaggerate the fashions, 
strut about, and are the best fellows in the world. You are happy 
having no tailor's bill to pay.' 

" ' No/ said the prince of the desert. 

" ' Well then, what is there in common between us ? Do you know 
how to drive a tilbury 1 ' 

<{< No.' 

" ' Thus you see the strong points in our character are quite different 
from yours. Do you play whist, or frequent the Jockey Club ? ' 

" No,' said the prince. 

" ' Well, your Highness, with us whist and the club are everything. 

"This polite nonsense became so aggravating that His Highness 
replied 

" ' Do you, sir, deny that you had me shut up 1 ' 

" ' I had not the power to shut you up. It was the government. I 
am not the government.' 



1 86 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



Why did the government impose on His Highness 1 ' I inquired. 




Exactly/ replied the Parisian. 'Why? hem! the government 



JOURNEY OF AN AFRICAN LION TO PARIS. 187 

takes no notice of popular whys and wherefores, it has its own political 
reasons for action, which are never divulged/ 

" On hearing this, the prince was so utterly astounded that he fell 
on all fours. The Parisian lion, profiting by the prince's blind rage, 
saluted His Highness, turned a pirouette, and escaped. 

" Your august son, deeming it wise to leave men alone to enjoy their 
illusions the gilded toys, the pomp and tinsel, the borrowed names 
and nameless follies which make up the happiness and misery of their 
existence prepared to quit Paris. A few days later one read in the 
' Semiphone ' of Marseilles 

" ' Prince Leo passed here yesterday en route for Toulon, where he 
embarked for Africa. The news of his father's death is assigned as 
the reason of his sudden departure.' 

" Tardy justice too often yields its tribute to greatness after death. 
This trustworthy organ even gave a picture of the consternation which 
your Majesty's untimely end spread through Leon a. * The agitation is 
so great, that a general rising is feared, and a massacre of the ancient 
enemies of the crown. It is asserted that the Dog, the prince's guide 
and interpreter, was present when His Highness received the fatal news, 
and bestowed the following advice, so characteristic of the utter demor- 
alisation of the dogs of Paris : Prince Leo, if you cannot save all, save 
the treasury/" 



ADVENTURE? OF A BUTTERFLY, 

RELATED BY HER GOVERNESS. 

Her infancy. Youth. Sentimental Journal. From Paris to Baden. Her 
wanderings, marriage, and death. 




EDITORIAL PEEFACE. 

IN studying the manners and customs of the 
insect world, naturalists have brought to light 
many most curious and interesting facts. In 
the case of the three genders of Hymenoptera, 
each gender performs its allotted functions with 
a degree of care, tenderness, and precision that 
mimics the complex organisation of human 
society. 

The neuter Hymenoptera are the working 
members of the insect world, and enjoy a greater share of life than 
either the males or females of their kind, outliving, indeed, two or three 
successive generations. In His infinite wisdom, God has denied them 
the power of reproduction, and at the same time entrusted to them the 
care and rearing of the young. Nothing in nature is without design. 
The neuter Hymenoptera bring up the orphan larvae of their relatives 
who invariably die after giving birth to their young. It falls to the 
lot of the neuters to provide food for the larvae who, thus deprived of 
the care of their parents, find in the neuter Hymenoptera the nurses 
who, with the most tender solicitude, take the place of sisters of mercy 
among men. Our correspondents' account of the life of a Butterfly 
will embody some interesting facts relative to the habits of this 
beautiful family. 

EDITORS. 



ADVENTURES OF A BUTTERFLY. 189 

" DEAR SIRS, Had I been requested to write down my personal 
experiences I should have declined the task, as it seems to me impos- 
sible to write an honest history of one's own career. The following 
biographical sketch is the fruit of moments stolen from the active 
hours of a busy life. I stand alone in the world, and shall never know 
the happiness of being either a father or a mother ; I belong to the 
great family of neuter Hymenoptera. Feeling the misery of a solitary 
life, you will not be surprised to learn that I consented to become a 
tutor. An aristocratic Butterfly who lived near Paris in the woods of 
Belle Vue, had once saved my life, and as a token of gratitude I con- 
sented to become the foster-parent of the child he would never live to 
see. The egg was carefully deposited in the calyx of a flower, and 
hatched by a ray of sunlight the day after the parent's death. It 
pained me to see the youth begin life by an act of ingratitude. Ho 
left the flower that had found a place for him in her heart without 
saying a word. His early education was most trying to one's temper ; 
he was as capricious as the wind, and of unheard-of thoughtlessness. 
But thoughtless characters are ignorant of the harm they do, and 
as a rule, are not unpopular. I loved the little orphan, although he 
had all the faults of a poor caterpillar. My instruction, advice, and 
guidance seemed to be thrown away upon him. Full of vivacity and 
light-heartedness, he embraced every opportunity of following the bent 
of his own reckless will. If I left him for an instant, on my return I 
never found him in the same place. He would venture to climb 
almost inaccessible plants, and risk his neck along the edges of 
leaves that hung over a yawning precipice. I remember being called 
away on important business, at a time when his sixteen legs would 
hardly carry him. On my return, I in vain searched for my charge, 
until at last I found him up a tree whose topmost branch he had 
reached, at the peril of his life. 

" He was scarcely out of his babyhood when his vivacity suddenly 
left him. It seemed to me that my counsels were beginning to bear 
fruit, but I was soon undeceived. What I had mistaken for signs of 
repentance was the chrysalis malady, common to the young. He 
remained from fifteen to twenty days without moving a muscle ; appa- 
rently asleep. 

" * What do you feel like ? " I asked him from time to time. ' What 
is the matter, my poor child ? ' 

" * Nothing,' he replied in a husky voice. ' Nothing, my good tutor. 



190 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



I cannot move about, and yet feel sensations of life and motion all 
over me. I am weary, weary, do not talk to me ! Keep quiet, do not 
stir ! ' 

"He became quite unrecognisable; his body swollen and of a 
yellow hue, like a faded leaf. This latent life so much resembled 
death, that I despaired of saving him ; when one day, warmed by a 
splendid sun, he gradually awoke. Never was transformation more 
startling, more complete ; he had lost his worm-like mould, and rose 
from his shell like a disembodied spirit, glorious in prismatic hues 
Four azure wings, as if by enchantment, had been placed upon his 
shoulders, feelers curved gracefully above his head, while six dainty 
legs peeped out beneath his velvet coat. His eyes, bright as gems, 
sparkling with the boundless prospect his new attributes had brought 
with them, he shook his wings and rose lightly in the air. 

" I followed him as fast as my worn wings would carry me. Never 
was a course more erratic. Never flight more impetuous. It seemed 
as though the earth belonged to him, and all its flowers were designed 
for his pleasure ; as though all created things, edged with the roseate 
light of his new being, were made to minister to his joy. He seemed 
to have risen from the grave to flit through a paradise all his own. 

" Soon weary of caprice, fields and flowers lost their enchanting lustre, 
and ennui crept on apace. Against this evil, riches, health, the joys of 
liberty, all the pleasures of nature, were powerless. He alighted, choos- 
ing the plant of Homer and Plato, the daffodil, only to leave it for the 
lichen of bare rocks, where, folding his wings he remained the prey of 
discontent and satiety. 

" More than once, dreading his desperate mood, I hid away the dark 
poisonous leaves of the belladona and hemlock. 

" One evening he came in a state^of great agitation, and confided to 
me that he had met in his wanderings a most amiable Butterfly who 
had just arrived from distant lands, bringing tidings of the wonders 
of the world. 

" A craving for exploration had seized upon him. ' I must either 
die or travel/ said he. 

" ' Do not die,' I replied ; ' self-inflicted death is only fit for the sneak 
and coward. Let us travel ! ' 

" My words filled him with new life ; he spread his wings, and we 
started for Baden. 

" It is impossible to describe his joy at our departure, his delighted 



ADVENTURES OF A BUTTERFLY. 191 

ecstasy. He was full of young life, its hopes and aspirations. As for 
myself, grief had enfeebled my wings, so that I found it hard to follow 
him. We only stopped at Chateau Thierry, the birthplace of La Fon- 
taine, not far from the vaunted borders of the Marne. 

" Shall I tell you the true cause of our stoppage ] He caught sight 
of a humble Violet in the corner of a wood. 

" ' Who could help loving you, little Violet/ he exclaimed, " with 
your face so sweet and dewy? If you only knew how charmingly 
honest you look, decked with your border of little green leaves, you 
would then understand my love. Be kind, consent to become my dear 
sister. See how calm I remain when near you ! How I love these 
sheltering trees, the peaceful freshness, and the sacred perfume you 
breathe around. How modestly you hide your beauty in this delicious 
shade. Love me ! love me in return, and make life happy ! " 

" ' Be a poor flower like me,' replied the Violet, ' and I will love you ; 
and when winter comes, when the snow covers the ground, and the 
wind whistles through the leafless trees, I will hide you under my 
leaves, and together we will forget the cold that spreads death around. 
Fold your wings, and promise to be always faithful.' 

" 'Always ? ' he repeated, ' that is too long. Besides, there is no 
winter ! ' and he flew away. 

" 'Don't grieve/ I said to the Violet, 'you have escaped misery.' 

" Our way lay over wheat-fields, forests, towns, villages, and the sad 
plain of Champagne. Not far from Metz, attracted by a sweet smell, 
he exclaimed, ' The gardens watered by these clear springs must indeed 
be beautiful ! ' Here he winged his way to a single Rose, growing on 
the banks of the Moselle. 

" ' Beautiful Hose,' he murmured, * never lias the sun shone on a 
flower more lovely. I have travelled far, suffer me to rest on one of 
your leaves.' 

" * Stay ! ' replied the Rose, ' presumptuous flatterer, do not approach 
me!' 

" Nothing daunted he touched a branch and retreated, exclaiming, 
* You have pricked me ! ' and he showed his wounded wing. I no 
longer love wild roses, they are cruel, devoid of heart. Let us fly, to 
be happy is to be unfaithful ! ' 

" Not far from the Rose he saw a Lily whose form charmed him. 
While its stateliness, purity, and cold, aristocratic bearing, filled him 
with mingled fear and admiration. 



192 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



" ' I do not dare to love you,' he said in his most respectful voice, 
1 for I am nothing more than a Butterfly, and I fear even to disturb the 
air you have glorified by your presence.' 

" ' Be spotless, pure, and unchangeable,' replied the Lily, ' and I will 
befriend you.' 

" l Never change ! In this world few Butterflies are sincere.' He 




really could not promise. A puff of wind carried him away to the 
silvery banks of the Rhine. I soon joined him. 

"'Follow me,' he was addressing a Daisy, 'follow me, and I will 
love you for your simplicity. Let us cross the Rhine and go to Baden. 
You will enjoy brilliant concerts, routs, dances, gay palaces, and the 
great mountains you can descry on the distant horizon. Leave these 
tame banks and shine as the queen of flowers in the smiling country 
yonder.' 

" * No,' replied the virtuous Daisy. ' No ! I love my native land, my 
sisters around me, and the mother earth that nourishes me. Here I 
must stay, must live and die. Do not tempt me to do wrong. The 
reason why Daisies are loved, is because they are the emblems of con- 
stancy. I cannot follow you, but you can remain with me, far from 
the noise of the world of which you speak. I will love you. Believe 
me, happiness is within the reach of all who are true and contented. 



ADVENTURES OF A BUTTERFLY. 193 

What flower will love you better than I 1 Here, come, count my 
petals. Do not forget a single one, and you will find that I love you, 
and that I am not loved in return.' 

" He hesitated an instant, and the eye of the tender flower dilated 
with hope. ' What are my wings made for 1 ' he said, and left the 
ground. 

" * I shall die,' said the Daisy, bending low. 




" ' Nay/ I replied, * thy grief will pass away.' 

" A tiny Forget-me-not whispered, ' Daisy queen ! you have our love, 
our admiration ! Why break our harmony ? Why cast your pure 
In-art away on a worthless Butterfly, whose flight and fancy follow 
every breath of wind, who is as swift to change his loves as evil 
tidings to fly abroad.' 

' Following my young scapegrace, I observed him dart down towards 
a stream as if fired by a sudden resolution to end his days. ' Good 
heavens ! ' I cried, ' what has he done 1 ' as, descending to the water, I 
lx-lu-1,1 nothing but the floating leaves on its surface. Shall I own it ? 
my blood froze with terror and apprehension. Fool that I was, he was 
enjoying the joke all the while through a tuft of reeds. 'Come, 
my tutor, come. I have found her at last.' He was dancing like 
a lunatic round a bulrush. My temper was sorely tried ; I nearly 
swore on observing this fresh token of folly. 



i 9 4 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



" The young rogue continued: 'She is no flower this time ; a real 




treasure, a daughter of the air, winged like an angel, and jewelled like 
a queen.' 

" I then perceived at the top of the reed, softly swaying in the wind,, 
a graceful Dragon-fly of many colours. 

" ' Allow me to present my betrothed,' continued my pupil. 

" ' What ? Already ! ' I exclaimed. 

" ' Yes/ said the Fly. ' Our shadows have grown, and these flowers- 
have closed, since we became acquainted. I seem to have known and 
loved my charmer all my days.' 

" Soon setting out for Baden, they gratified every caprice, arranged 
their wedding, and issued formal invitations to the gayest of the gay 
among the insect aristocracy. It was a civil marriage, advertised with 
all the pomp of a royal union, and attended by the cream of the native 
and foreign nobility. Certain clauses in the marriage code, touching 
the obedience and constancy of the wedded pair, gave offence to the 
lady, as she deemed them superfluous ; she, however, modestly kept 
her views on these subjects to herself. The ceremony was so imposing 
that I employed a spider to make a sketch of the scene. 

"The wedding was followed by rejoicing, feasting, and gaiety. 



ADVENTURES OF A BUTTERFLY. 



195 




i 9 6 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



Pleasure parties thronged the ruts in the fields, making their way onward 
to congratulate the happy pair. The Snail drove over in her carriage, 
while the Hare mounted his thorough-bred Tortoise, and the Ant his 
Centiped, to pay their formal visits. Even the rustics held high holi- 
day, and thronged to witness the marvellous performances of a troop 
of acrobats on the verge of a corn-field. Here, a Grasshopper displayed 
wonderful dexterity in dancing with and without a pole on a horizon- 
tal stem of grass ; and a showman cricket was blowing a blast of music 
through the corolla of a tricoloured convolvulus. 

" A ball had been arranged, for which great preparations were made. 




A large Glow-worm, aided by a staff of Fire-flies, was charged with 
the illumination. The Glow-worm produced the central light, while his 
assistants, the Fire-flies, stood around the open cups of flowers with 
such marvellous effect, that every one thought a fairy had passed that 
way. The golden stems of astragalus were of such dazzling brightness 
that even the Butterflies could hardly bear its light ; while many 
nocturnal insects retired, without being able to congratulate the 
married couple. Some remained from sheer politeness, veiling their 
eyes with their velvet wings. 

" When the bride appeared, the whole assembly burst into transports 
of admiration. She was certainly a georgeously-dressed, charming- 
looking creature. She never rested for a second, but kept up with the 



ADVENTURES OF A BUTTERFLY. 



197 




198 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

music and dance. ' Waltzing much too frequently/ said an old neuter, 
1 with a magnificent cousin in the Guards/ Her husband, my pupil, 
was the heart and soul of the party ; he was everywhere, dancing and 
conversing. 

" The orchestra, led by a humble Bee, a clever pupil of Da Costa, 
performed admirably a number of new waltzes and field-flower dances. 
Towards midnight the Signora Cavelleta, dressed in rather a trans- 
parent costume, danced a satarelle, which was only moderately success- 
ful. The ball was then interrupted by a grand vocal and instrumental 
concert, in which figured a number of celebrated artists who had 
followed the fine weather to Baden. A young Cricket played a 
solo on the violin, which Paganini had also executed just before his 
death. 

" A Grasshopper, who had created a furore, at Milan, the classic land 
of grasshoppers, sang a song of her own composition with great effect. 
Others followed, rendering some of the* finest music of modern times 
in a manner unsurpassed. At the close of the concert a supper, ingeni- 
ously prepared from the juice of jessamine, myrtle, and orange blossom, 
was served in pretty little blue and rose-coloured bells. This delicious 
repast was prepared by a Bee, whose secret even the most renowned 
makers of bon-bons would have been glad to know. 

" At one o'clock dancing recommenced with renewed vigour. The 
fete was at its height. Half an hour later strange rumours arose. It 
was whispered that the husband, in a transport of rage and jealousy, 
was searching everywhere for his missing wife. Some friends, with 
the intention, no doubt, of reassuring him, said she had danced 
constantly with her handsome, dashing cousin, and was seen to elope 
with him. 

" ' Ah ! the false one ! ' cried the poor, despairing husband ; ' I will 
be revenged ! ' 

" I pitied his despair, and coaxed him away from the scene, at once 
so gay and so tragic. ' You have sown,' I said, ' and you have reaped. 
It is now not a question of cursing life, but of bearing it.' 

" We left Baden that night, and, contrary to my expectation, my 
pupil never recovered the humiliating shock his own folly had brought 
upon him, by ' marrying in haste, and repenting at leisure.' True to 
his weak nature, easily attracted by glitter and flare, he at last flung 
himself into a lamp at Strasbourg, and perished with a comforting 



ADVENTURES OF A BUTTERFLY. 



199 



belief in the doctrine of transmigration of Buddha and Pytha- 
goras. 

The fate of the runaway Dragon-fly is a warning to weak wives. 
She and her admirer were caught in the net of a princely bird, and 
pinned down on a board, in a museum, two days after their elope- 
ment. 




THE MISFORTUNES OF A CROCODILE. 




You see in me, gentlemen, a very unfor- 
tunate animal. Under the circumstances, 
I think I am justified in maintaining that 
no reptile has the same reason to com- 
plain. Judge for yourselves ! What do- 
I ask ? Simply to be left alone to eat, 
digest, sleep, and warm my thick coat 
in the sun. If other animals are foolish 
enough to display their restless activity, 
and wear themselves out, in order to earn 
a miserable living, that is their business, 
not mine. I await my prey quietly, in a 
manner becoming the descendant of the- 

illustrious Crocodiles worshipped by the Egyptians. Faithful to my 
aristocratic origin, I detest anything more intellectual than a good 
dinner, and the full enjoyment of the senses. Why will men pester 
me with their schemes for the extension of my mud bank by warfare, 
or harass me with their brand new measures for pacific financial reform ? 
My privacy is perpetually invaded ; I have hardly an hour I can call 
my own. 

One bright summer morning my history began, like the first part of 
a novel, all perfume and roses, steeped in the social tranquillity which 
precedes the storms and heart-breakings of closing volumes. 

The primary event of this important history was the breaking of my 
egg, which led to my taking bearings. Daylight for the first time- 
fell upon my young life, casting its shadow across the desert covered 
with sphinxes and pyramids. The great Nile lay unexplored at my 
feet a glorious expanse of turbid water, edged with corn-fields, and 
swollen by the tears of slaves. On its bosom reposed the lovely Isle of 
Raondah, with its alleys of sycamore and orange groves. Without 



THE MISFORTUNES OF A CROCODILE. 201 



pausing as a historian ought to do to admire this sublime spectacle, 
I advanced towards the stream, and commenced my gastronomic career 
by swallowing a passing fish. There still remained on the sand about 
a score of eggs similar to the one I had left. Have they been dissected 
by Otters and Ichneumons ? or have they burst into life ? No matter ; 
free Crocodiles have no family ties. 

For ten years I lived by fishing and capturing stray birds and un- 
happy dogs that mistook me for a mud bank. Arrived at this mature 
age, it occurred to me that philosophic reflection would aid digestion. 
I therefore reflected after a fashion common in the world. Nature has 
loaded me with her rarest gifts, charm of face, elegance of figure, and 
great capacity of stomach. Let me think how I may wisely use her 
gifts. 

I belong to horizontal life, and must abandon myself to indolence. I 
have four rows of sharp teeth, I shall therefore eat others and endeavour 
to escape being eaten myself. I shall cultivate the art of enjoyment, and 
adopt the morals of good living whatever they may be and shun 
marriage. Why should I saddle myself with a wife to share my prey, 
when I myself can eat the whole, or with a pack of ungrateful chil- 
dren ? 

Such were my thoughts about the future, and all the Saurians in 
the great river could not shake my resolution to remain single. Only 
once I thought I was seriously in love with a young Crocodile of about 
sixty summers. Her laughing mouth seemed as wide as the entrance 
to the pyramid of Cheops, her little, green eyes were shaded by eyelids, 
yellow as the waters of the Nile in flood. Her skin, hard and rough, 
was adorned with green spots. Yet I resisted her blandishments and 
severed the ties that menaced our lives. 

For many years I contented myself with the flesh of quadrupeds and 
fish of the stream, never daring to follow the example of my ancestors 
and declare war on man. One day, however, the Sheriff of Rahmanich 
passing near my haunt, I drew him under the water before his atten- 
dants had time to turn their heads. He proved as tender a morsel as 
any dignitary ought to be who is paid for doing nothing. 

How many high and mighty men there are who could thus be spared 
for my supper ! From this time forth I became a man-eater ; men are 
tender, and besides they are our natural foes. It was not long before 
I acquired amongst my fellows a high reputation for audacity and 



202 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



sybaritism. I became the king of their feasts, and presided at many 
banquets. 




THE MISFORTUNES OF A CROCODILE. 203 

The banks of the Nile often witnessed our convivial meetings, and 
echoed with the sound of our songs. 

About the beginning of the moon of Baby-el-Alonel, the year of 
Higera 1213, otherwise 3d Thermidor, year VII., otherwise 2ist July 
1 798, I happened to be reposing on a bed of reeds, and was awakened 
by a strange noise. Clouds of dust rose round the village of Embabeh. 
Two great armies were advancing to close in battle. On the one side 
the Arabs, the Mamelouks with breastplates of gold, the Keayas and 
the Beys mounted on superb horses. The other was a foreign army, 
made up of soldiers wearing black felt hats with red feathers, blue or 
rather dirty white uniforms and trousers. The commander was a slight, 
short, thin man. I pitied the human beings who were led by such a 
weak creature, hardly a mouthful for a Crocodile. 

The little man uttered a few words, at the same time pointing to the 
pyramids, after which the cannonade began, the guns belched forth their 
fire and shot, while shells whistled and exploded among the Crocodiles, 
laying some of them low. That was a fatal day, the turning point in 
my history. The invaders carried off a gigantic column, placed it on 
board ship and transported it to one of the finest cities in Europe. 
The inscriptions on this stone have never been deciphered ; I am told 
the meaning runs thus : 

" Worship good living, 
Let your belly be your god. 
Selfishness is a virtue 
When practised voluntarily. 
You must never take the obelisk 
By force or by consent, 
Two millions must you pay 
If you take it unjustly." 

Some of the new comers took it into their heads to hunt and shoot 
our noble selves. I was captured, but not killed, and became a prisoner 
at the disposal of man, and was conveyed to El-Kahiret which the 
infidels call Cairo and there provisionally lodged at the consulate. 
The tumult of war was as nothing compared to the clamour of dispu- 
tants discussing the Eastern question in this house. Fighting was 
carried on with the sharpest weapon known the human tongue. 
They squabbled from dusky dewy morn till eve. It was truly unfor- 
tunate that no free Crocodile was there to end the disputes by devour- 
ing Consul, swords, tongues and all. Had I been free, this useful office 



204 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

should have been performed and that speedily. My sailor captor, 
judging me unfit for a museum, handed me over to an adventurer. 
On our arrival at Havre oh misery ! my jaws were paralysed with 
cold. I was placed in a huge tub and exposed to the vulgar gaze of 
the crowd. The showman stood at the door of his hut bawling out 
this terrible fiction, " Walk in, ladies and gentlemen, now is the time 
when this interesting reptile is about to feed ! " 

He pronounced these words in a tone so delusive that I instinctively 
opened my jaws, to receive, what ? nothing ! 

The traitor fearing to put my strength on an equality with my 
ferocity subjected me to systematic starvation. 

An old money-lender, who had advanced a sum to my master, deli- 
vered me from this slavery by seizing the menagerie of which I was the 
chief ornament all the other animals were stuffed. Two days later 
he handed me over, instead of money, to a man he was piously engaged 
in ruining. I was placed in a large pond near the sea, where my 
new owner possessed a villa. I gathered from the servants internal 
enemies, as yet happily unknown amongst the Saurians that my 
master was a young man of forty-five years, a distinguished gastrono- 
mist, the possessor of twenty-five thousand pounds a year indulgent 
tradesmen allowing him to spend two hundred thousand pounds. 

He had remained a bachelor, wisely viewing marriage as the closing 
scene in the comedy of life. The only thing remarkable about him 
was his stomach, of which he was very proud, " I have made it what it 
is," he would say, " it cost me a good bit, but I have not lost my 
money. Nature intended me to be thin and dry, but, thanks to an 
intelligent regimen, in spite of Nature I have acquired this honourable 
embonpoint. The cheapest dinner of this truly great man, cost him at 
least fifty francs. He used to say with great feeling, " only fools die of 
hunger." 

One summer evening, after dinner, my master visited me with a 
numerous company of guests, some of whom found my countenance 
most prepossessing; others thought me hideous, and all agreed that I 
bore a strong resemblance to their host. 

"Why do you delight in rearing such a monster?" said an old tooth- 
less man, who in truth, himself merited this insulting appellation. 
"Were I in your place, I should have him killed and sent to the 
kitchen. I have been told that crocodile's flesh is very much sought 
after by certain African and Cochin Chinese tribes." 



THE MISFORTUNES OF A CROCODILE. 205 

"Upon my honour," said my patron, "your idea is original; not- 
withstanding his resemblance to me, I will sacrifice him to your palates. 
Cook, to-morrow you will make a crocodile pie with Egyptian onions." 
All the parasites clapped their hands, the cook bowed, and I disap- 
peared to the bottom of my pond. After a terrible night, the first 
rays of the morning sun revealed the cook sharpening an enormous 
knife. He approached me, followed by two assistants who unlocked 
my chain and beat me with a stick about the head. I was lost, had not 
a sudden noise attracted the attention of my executioners. I beheld my 
master struggling with four unknown bull-dog-looking men, who had 
just arrived from Paris. One of them held a watch in his hand. Five 
o'clock had just struck, when I heard the words " En route for Clichy." 
A carriage appeared, and without pausing to make further notes, profit- 
ing by the excitement, I left my pond and gained the sea. 

After many perils, I at last reached my native shore, where I found 
civilisation and M. de Lesseps were turning everything upside down. 
Should this rage continue for steam traffic, cutting canals, negotiating 
loans, and generally playing the mischief with all our ancient institu- 
tions, what will become of Crocodiles 1 Who knows, before long the 
Kile may be found to flow back to its source wherever that may be- 
am! the world itself, propelled by steam, may make its way to the 
sun, or take its enchanted inhabitants on a tour through space. 

1'rogress is most annoying to 'a conservative Crocodile ! 




^^., 



THE FUNERAL ORATION OF A 




THE sun, having done 
his day's work of shining 
right well, suddenly and 
wearily retired to rest. 
The last notes of the 
birds' song of praise 
were still lingering in 
the echoes of the woods, 
and the earth, wrap- 
ping herself in her dark 
mantle, was preparing 
for repose. The death's- 
head Moth giving the 
signal of departure, the 
little cortege set out on 
the march for the purple 
heath. Field - spiders, 
whose work consisted in 
clearing the road, preced- 
ed the corpse which was 
surrounded by beetles, in 
black, carrying the bier of mulberry leaf. These were followed by 
tail-bearing mutes, next came the Ants, and lastly the Grubs. When 
at some little distance from the sacred mulberry tree, around which 
were assembled the relatives of the deceased, the Cardinal Pyrochre 
gave orders that the hymn of the dead should be intoned by the*choir 
of Scarabs, and afterwards sung by Bees and Crickets. 

At intervals, when the harmony ceased, one could hear deep sighs 



THE FUNERAL ORATION OF A SILKWORM. 



207 



and sobs, bearing evidence of the universal grief caused by the loss of 
the humble insect, whose remains were being borne to their last 
resting-place. The procession at length reached the cemetery on the 



If 




heath, where the sextons were still bending over the new dug grave. 
Sighs and sobs were hushed in that profound silence which betokens 
the deepest sorrow. But when the bearers had laid the body in the 



208 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



tomb, and the yawning earth closed over it, the air was rent with a 
piteous wail, for the mourners had seen the last of a true friend. 

An insect, robed in black, advanced to the grave-mound, saying : 




" Why this outburst of bitter grief? Why weep for one who has been 
delivered from the trial and burden of life. Yet," he added, "weep 
on, for he who lies there can feel no pang of sorrow; no tears, no 



THE FUNERAL ORATION OF A SILKWORM. 209 

loving tones, can wake a responsive throb in his cold breast, nor bring 
liim back to his earthly home ! " They would not be comforted. 

*' Brothers," said another, advancing in turn, "it is at the birth of 
.a silkworm one ought rather to mourn. , His life was one of ceaseless 
toil. By leaving this earth he has left his misery behind \ neither joy 
nor sorrow can follow him beyond the grave. I tell you simple truth ; 
this is no time for hypocrisy. Why should worms mourn this event ? 
Death has no terrors for us ! " They still wept. 

One of the mourners said with faltering voice : " Brother, we know 
that there is a beginning, and alas ! an end, to everything, and that all 
must die ; we know, too, the sorrows of our life, the labour of gather- 
ing our food leaf by leaf; we know the toil that transforms a mul- 
berry leaf into a shining silken robe ; we know the dangers that beset 
our lives ; and the doom of the silken shroud that at last imprisons and 
blights the dreams of our young lives ; we know that to die is to cease 
to toil, death being the end of the silken thread which began with our 
birth we know all this ; but, oh, we know, too, that we loved our 
brother, and who can console us for so great a loss ? " 

" We loved him ! we loved him ! " cried the mourners. 

" I wept like you," said the Cardinal, " for our brother who is gone ; 
yet, when I meet death face to face in the silkworm, my heart expands. 
'Go to the other world,' I say, the better world; there the gates 
will open for the good, both high and low ; there you will rejoin your 
lost loved ones in a land where flowers breathe an eternal fragrance ; 
where the mulberries bordering the glassy streams are ever green. 
Ah, brothers, tell them to wait for us there, for to die is to be born 
to a better life ! " 

With these words the weeping ceased. The moon broke out, 
silvering the heath with a chaste glory. 

The good insect added : " Go back to your homes ; our brother has 
no longer need of you." 

Kucli of the mourners, after placing a flower on the grave, left the 
.scene, fueling comforted. 




To THE DEADER. 

DEAR KEADER, 

We are now halfway on our journey, and feel confident 
that you will place confidence in us as your guides during the second 
part of our expedition. Be assured of this, while we lead you into the 
unknown regions of the animal kingdom, we are prepared to shield 
you from the dangers of contact with its uncivilised or purely savage 
races. At the same time, your well-known craving for all that is- 
marvellous has been fully considered, and shall be duly gratified. 

Our correspondents have sharpened their wits and pens, and are 
impatient to lay open a perfect mine of treasure. 

Good evening, dear friends. Go home, bar your doors well ! One 
never knows what may happen. The calmest nights are frequently 
the harbingers of storms. Sleep with one eye open. At any rate, sleep 
well. Pleasant dreams ! 

THE MONKEY, PAROQUET, AND COCK, 
Editors in Chief. 



PART 3 ECOND - 



JARDIN DES PLANTES, PARIS. 

IN preparing the second part of our work for press, we were about 
to discharge the sacred duty of congratulating ourselves upon having 
laid the solid foundation of the animal constitution, when our pen was 
arrested by rumours of sedition and conspiracy. Dark clouds have 
been observed on the horizon ; but our astronomers creatures of true 
instinct by their forewarnings, have hitherto enabled us to weather 
the worst storms, while at the same time, they have greatly increased 
our store of knowledge by clearing up some obscure points of sidero- 
logy. They have further invented the seasons, and assured us that 
days and nights shall succeed each other as long as the observatory is 
properly endowed. They have decreed that the sun shall be free to 
all who pay the constitutional rates for the maintenance of paupers, 
of police, and of the state. 

The wide experience and sagacity of these creatures have led them 
to investigate various natural phenomena, which they do not under- 
stand, nevertheless, with the innate modesty of votaries of science, they 
have compelled nature to bend to their conclusions and have accord- 
ingly arrived at certain incontestable facts. 

The following communication has just been received from the obser- 
vatory : 

" We have discovered the true cause of alarm. Unless we are mis- 
taken, the clouds that obscure the political horizon consist of swarms 
of flies and other winged insects whose political opinions change with 
the wind all of them armed to the teeth and tips of their tails. 

" This rising is the result of social decomposition among the masses, 
and a breeze of false doctrine which threatens the glorious fabric of the 
animal constitution, founded by our first assembly. 

"Conspiracy broods over the land. For all that, as the swarms 
have never been known to pursue any definite policy, we hope to be 



214 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



enabled to contradict the news, which to-day we announce as certain. 
In any case : Caveant consules / do not slumber." 

No, we will not sleep ; and as we have great faith in the wisdom of 




our brothers. Since anarchy watches, we shall watch with and against 
her. 

As a first measure, to maintain order, we propose to issue a daily 
bulletin of events, which will, at any rate, supply material for gossip to 
the various members of our league. 

EXTRACT FROM THE "DAILY MONITEUR" OF THE ANIMALS. 
Our worst fears are confirmed. Grave disorders of a seditious 
character have broken out. A band of rioters, numbering about three 
thousand, have detached themselves from the army, with the avowed 
intention of exciting the animal kingdom to revolt. Sword in hand, 
or sting in tail, they clamour for what they are pleased to term " general 
reform." This band is led by a notorious Wasp, famed for his poison and 



DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS. 



215 



the purity of his principles. In vain have a number of venerable flies 
striven to calm the popular tumult. Their words have been misunder- 
stood. Happen what may, we are prepared to tide over the storm, 
and to defeat these odious attempts to uproot the constitution. 
"Troubles," said Montesquieu, "build up empires." 




a 



The captain of our winged guards, Lord Humble Bee, has not 
succeeded in dispersing the rioters ; he thought and rightly that it 
would be advisable to withdraw before shedding blood, contenting 
himself by cutting off the food 
supplies and hemming in the in- 
surgents, who, after a few hours, 
would thus be compelled to capi- 
tulate or starve. The humanity 
of this noble leader is worthy of 
all praise. 

The insurgents are throwing 
up barricades of grass and dried 
twigs, and are prepared, it is 
said, to sustain a regular siege. The field they occupy is at least 
eighteen inches wide by ten inches long. 

The most contradictory rumours are spread abroad. Some of the 
rebels accuse us of indirectly stirring up revolt. " Tyrants of the deepest 
dye," said one, "maintain their power by setting their subjects one 
-against the other, so that in their petty strife they may overlook the 
defects of government." What can we say of such absurdities. If the 




216 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

rulers of states had nothing to fear save the unity of the people, they 
would sleep on downy pillows ! 

It is reported that the disaffected flies are everywhere rousing the 




nation. One of them the Clarion, a clever musician, has composed 
a war march entitled, " The Eoll Call of the Flies." We can now hear 
the tones of this impious music floating over Paris. It is wafted from 
a thousand instruments at the Pantheon, the Val de Grace, the tour 
Saint Jacques la Boucherie. the Salpitriere, the Pre Lachaise, where- 
the emissaries have been stationed by the leaders of the movement. 

A number of prisoners have been arrested, but they refuse to disclose 
their principles. 

" We are of snow-white purity ! " say they. " Why should such 

innocents be arrested? Take our 
heads ! >' 

" Your heads ! what can we 
do with a fly's head ? Never- 
theless we will consider this pro- 
potion." 

The pretensions of the rebels are 
now known, "Hie common good" 
serves them as a pretext for per- 
sonal ambition and private hatred. 

EXAMINING THE FLY'S HEAD. 1 

.Revolution means nothing more 

than the relinquishing of our posts to others who are not so well 
qualified to fill them. If we refuse to yield to their demands as we 
intend to do we are doomed, so they say. Our posts and emolu- 




DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS. 217 

ments will be sold with our lives ! We owe this as a tribute to the 
animal kingdom. 

For what are we reproached ] Have we been unjust, or partial ? 
Have we not followed our programme and printed all contributions 
without preference, or selection, blindly as every just editor ought to 
do 1 We are over head and ears in paper, knee deep in ink ; we have 
burned the midnight oil, endeavoured to please everybody, entertained 
foes in the guise of friends, and in short, succeeded so well in our 
various duties as to secure the envy and hatred of an ungrateful rebel. 

The chief of the insurrection is a Scarab ! the Scarab Hercules ! 
This is no doubt a very fine name for a leader. Have you made the 




acquaintance of this Scarab? We for our part might scorn the attacks 
of such a grovelling fellow, did we not know that the bite or sting of 
the meanest of God's creatures is always most venomous and de- 
structive. 

\\ have therefore pleasure unalloyed in issuing the following 
orders : 

A price is placed upon the head of the Scarab Hercules ; a suit- 
able reward will be paid to any one who will bring him dead or alive 
(we would prefer him dead). 

zd. Measures will be immediately taken to raise a large body of 
troops ; a force of nine hundred thousand flies fully equipped to fight 
the rebels in the field or in the air. 



218 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

3rd. The commissioners of police are required to carry one or more 
lengths of rope as their means will permit. 

4th. All honest subjects are required to remain at home, go to bed 
early, get up late, and to see or hear nothing. Such a line of conduct 




will prove to the rioters that their projects find no favour among 
slumbering citizens. 

$th. Animals found in pairs, or in groups, shall be cooked, or dispersed 




by force. This notice concerns Ostriches, Ducks, gregarious and 
socially-disposed animals. 

A Kite was sent to us bearing a flag of truce. We deigned to receive 
and listen"to him. He said, " You, sirs, have spoken and managed affairs 
after your own fashion ; now listen, we must each one have our turn. 
Over there, we number thirty three million free subjects, God's crea- 
tures, and every one as ambitious as yourselves to make a stir in the 
world ; to write and speak fearlessly, Equality is our divine right ! " 
"What is a right?" inquired an old Crow whose acquaintance the 



DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS. 219 

reader has already made, " summum jus, snmma injuria / If you must 
all write, the folios of the whole world would not be sufficient to con- 
tain the manuscript, not even if each one restricted himself, not to his 
history, nor to a page, line, word, letter, or even a comma." 

This judicious refutation was deemed simply absurd, and the foolish 
Kite replied by asking another question. " That is enough ! who 
endowed you with your power of reckoning ? Has the God of Scarabs 
not made earth, sky, light, trees, and even leaves, that every one who 
has an equal stake, may have an equal share in all created things ? " 

folly ! the victory of such reasonable kites and scarabs is certain. 
Go back to your camp. 

Alas ! civil war is making its way into the most peaceful valleys. 
The spirit of revolt has spread from the insects to the birds, and even 
to the quadrupeds. Alarm is everywhere abroad. The doors of the 
cages have to be kept shut, a proceeding most galling to those animals 
who sit outside watching their neighbours. Let the peacefully disposed 
take courage, the geese are still guarding the capital. 

The insurgents have replied to the articles of our journal, in a paper 
they have established, called " The Guardian of Freedom ; " or, " Review 
of Animal Reform." 

Yesterday, the friends of liberty assembled in the Hall of Natural 
History, where stuffed animals are preserved. 

This preliminary meeting was held at a late hour. One by one the 
members assembled, and silently exchanging tokens of recognition, 
seated themselves in the galleries opposite their preserved ancestors. 
The stillness was such, that one could hardly distinguish the dead from 
the living. The Elephant, Bear, Buffalo, Bison, and the Eagle all arrived 
at the same moment, as if drawn thither by some power supernatural. 
But who can deny that love of liberty mpves mountains, and at once 
explains the presence of these noble beasts. 

"Brothers," said an orator at last, "we have remained silent, and 
yet we know full well the cause of our meeting. Fellow elephants, apes, 
birds, and beasts ! I crave your forbearance (cheers) while I point out 
to you the only true elements of reform. (Loud applause.) Our proceed- 
ings last year have let us in for a rather bad thing ; the animals elected 
to edit our proceedings, and to conduct the affairs of our kingdom, 
have tampered with our liberty. Visit their chambers there you shall 
behold histories without number, rejected and shelved ; shelved to suit 
the editor's caprices ! (Cheers.) Many of the pages thus consigned to 



DAILY B ULLE TIN OF E VENTS. 22 1 

oblivion, are very mirrors of light and liberty that would have shed a 
glorious lustre over the ages. Ah ! I see, in the cultured faces around, 
the lineaments of all that is noble and patriotic in the land ! I hear 
in those deep drawn sighs, harrowing tales of genius neglected and 
suppressed by the jealousy of those who are set over us ! (Thunders of 
applause.) I read the sentiments of true hearts, roused by oppression, 
in the fervour of your wagging tails and glorious gnashing of incisors ! 
Brothers, let calm and tranquil sagacity resume its throne in your 
breasts, which are torn with righteous indignation ! Listen words 
must express pent-up thoughts ! I must speak ! you must act ! ! The 
course we are pursuing is leading us to ruin ! What has the pub- 
lication of our history done for us ? For us ? nay, not for us ; for the 
few the select favoured ones whose stories have appeared in its pages. 
What has it done for us ? simply nothing. In these pages the wrongs 
of all, high and low, should find a place. Has it been so 1 I ask you. 
(Shouts of * No ! no ! no ! down with the editors !') Down with them ! 
the tyrants ! ! they have abused the power we placed in their hands ! 
served their friends, and calmly said, ' All is well.' What has come of 
it all ? Has our world ceased to be a vale of tears ? Have our homes 
been happier ? Our prospects brighter 1 Has our fame been spread 
abroad 1 (' The stag, elk, and calf, No ! no ! !') Brothers, since that 
memorable night, when the first outcry for liberty and reform was 
hailed by the acclamations of the whole world, our rights and liberties 
have been systematically betrayed. We have been sold ! sold ! ! sold 
to men ! ! ('True, true ! they sold us,! ') sold to men ! ! ! But let us leave 
these inferior animals alone, they are not our worst enemies. Our 
leaders have betrayed us for a caress from their keepers, or a miserable 
subsidy of nuts and crusts. Whither shall we direct our steps ? shall 
it be back to our narrow prisons, or lonely desert wastes ? (All the 
animals, 'Alas ! alas! ') Will the clouds be our canopy and the earth 
our pillow 1 I tell you, friends, we shall all of us die in irons. (In 
chorus, ' misery, misery ! ') " 

The orator, turning towards the remains of countless generations of 
animals, continued 

"Remains of our illustrious ancestors, you who once lived and 
bivathed. Miserable mummies! ghosts of all that is beautiful in our 
vitality and action. Did you voluntarily relinquish the care of the 
creator to play your part in this ghastly mimicry of life ? Were we 
created to be stuffed and preserved in cases, side by side with the poor 



222 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

works of man, in place of returning to your parent earth after fulfilling 
your destinies ? Brothers, let us escape from men and the doom that 
awaits us. The way to liberty may be narrow and well-guarded ; it is 
our only way ! we must follow it, force the passes, water them with 
our blood, and gain the glorious grassy plains and wooded vales of 
freedom ! " 

If one may credit the report of this pompous oration, the effect it 
produced was perfectly marvellous. We need only notice one point in 
this wicked dithyrambic. You say, Mr. Bison, the speaker, that we 
have sold you you are right we have sold you ! and what is more we 
are proud of it ! No less than 20,000 copies. Could you have done 
so much 1 You owe us your thanks for raising your market value. 

The dean of the Jardin des Plantes a venerable Buffalo whose 
personal character we esteem, replied thus to his cousin the 
Bison : 

" My children, I am the oldest slave in this garden, and have the 
sad honour of being your dean. Of my early days I have but a dim 
recollection, indeed I can only recall the days of my freedom. Sweet 
days they were, and in spite of my twenty odd years of bondage the 
young blood comes back to my heart as I reflect on the prospect of 
renewed liberty. (Cheers.) I speak of your liberty, my children, not 
of my own, for my eyes will close in death long before the dawn of that 
glorious day. Slave I have lived, and slave I shall die. (Shouts of 
'Long live the Buffalo.') My good friends," replied the speaker, 
"it is not in your power to add an hour to my life. It is not the 
selfish freedom of one, or of many, but of all that we must seek. I 
therefore beseech you to remain united. (Murmurs of dissent.) My 
children, do not plunge into the misery of civil strife. Do not cavil 
over the mean rags of power. When you have changed your one-eyed 
house for a blind mock, what benefit will the change confer 1 Think 
of the misery you may bring upon the poor and helpless ones, and 
how that a little power, more or less, vested in the hands of my 
hearers can never effect the good of all." 

The closing words of this speech were listened to coldly, the respect 
due to the speaker alone preventing a demonstration. 

" Civil war leads to despotism and not to liberty," said the dean, as 
he sadly resumed his seat. 

" Are we here to listen to a sermon 1 " roared the Lynx. 

A number of agitators followed. It is necessary here to remark that 



DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS. 223 

the more indifferent the cause to be advocated the greater the crowd 
of speakers. 

The Boar proceeded to address the assembly in a flow of eloquence, 
until domestic duties called him to the bosom of his numerous family. 

Here we end our quotations from the " Journal of Reform," and in 
justice to the rioters, will conclude with a literal account of the pro- 
ceedings, furnished by a Ferret who was present at the meeting. 

"For three hours the rioters, irrespective of the place, or the sacred 
presence of the dead around, kept up an incessant thunder of inar- 
ticulate sounds, stamping, groaning, and applauding. Sixty-three 
speakers addressed the audience simultaneously. The result of this 
tumult of voices may be more easily imagined than described." 

Our correspondent adds: "The art of whistling and howling has 
made such astonishing progress among the audience as to suggest a 
mass meeting in England ! " 

One of those doubtful dogs who have no political opinions, and who 
are to be found in every popular assembly attempted to gain a hearing. 

" If we are vanquished ! " he said. 

"Vanquished ! bah ! Out with the cur !" cried the Bear, with that 
air of brutality so peculiarly his own. 

" Out with him ! " growled the Hyena ; " barking is not enough, we 
must bite ! " 

** Beware of the spy/' shrieked the Weasel. 

The prudent brute waiting to hear no more, tucked his tail snugly 
between his legs and bolted through a window. 

Here the Ram ventured to point out that the editors had gained the 
confidence of the people. 

" Popularity is no proof of genius," said the Wolf. " The people 
will forget their idols." 

" And hate them," growled the Hyena. 

"If they neglect their love, they will nurse their hatred ! " hissed 
the Snake. 

The Fox perceiving that unanimity of sentiment was hopeless, 
adjourned the meeting by proposing that the rioters should refresh 
themselves by a night's repose. So they departed each one to his den, 
and there dreaming of reform and rapine, rose with the sun to renew 
the conflict. They awoke to arms and assaulted the amphitheatre. 
The onslaught was severe, and in our extremity we inquired for 
Prince Leo. 



224 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



li They have taken the amphitheatre/' said that great general, " and 
what is more they shall keep it." 

The prince's firm attitude proved reassuring, for this renowned tacti- 
cian had taken timely measures to teach the traitors a terrible lesson. 
He shut them in and secured the approaches, so that the stronghold was 
like to become the tomb of the insurgents. All attempts to relieve 
their position were vigorously repulsed by Prince Humble-Bee. 




An audacious Ape mounted the amphitheatre roof and raised the 
standard of revolt ; while a Mole proposed to entrench the army within 
its hill. The proposal was negatived, as the position was deemed 
already too strong. 

A celebrated engineering Spider offered to spin a suspension bridge 
over which the insurgents might escape during the night. To this, the 
Fly objected, while the Elephant urged that the work should be at once 
proceeded with. 

The extraordinary simplicity of this giant of the forest inspired one 



DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS, 



225 



of our friends with the idea for the following couplet, which we gladly 




insert (as it ought not to be lost to posterity), regretting, at the same 
time, that the gifted poet insists on remaining anonymous : 

AIR " Fcmmes, voulez-vous eprouver" 

" Un Eldphant se balancait 

Sur une toile d'Araignde; 
Voyant qu'il divertissait, 

Une Mouche en fut indignde : 
' Comment peux-tu te rejouer,' 

Dit-elle, ' en voyant ma souffrance 
Ah ! viens plutot me soucourir, 

Ma main sera ta recompense.' " 



226 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



We secured a number of brave auxiliaries in the shrimps, who, 




headed by a valiant sea-crab, shouted, as they formed into marching 

order 

" Forward let us march 
With our backs-upon the foe." 

All good citizens were ordered to leave wife and children, and 




prepare to be everywhere at a moment's notice, ready to fight for their 



DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS. 



227 



country. Notwithstanding the happy stratagem which shut in the 
rebels, we were doomed to defeat. A company of the enemy's flies, 
mechanics, were drafted to place the guns so as to command our 
position. The coolness of these creatures, foes though they were, 
won our admiration. They planted the weapons, with an unconcern as 
complete as if preparing to storm the calix of a flower, while the result 
of their manoeuvres soon told terribly on our left wing. Our swarms, 
impatient for the fray displaying more valour than discretion fell 
upon the foe in disorganised detachments. The right attacked the 
enemy's left under the leadership of the Goliaths, but the light 
infantry under Prince Humble-Bee were as waves against a rock 
scattered in boiling foam. Our left was opposed by the mining, 
cutting, and carpentering Andrines, and the corporation of Ehinoceros- 
Beetles, who having only one horn, obeyed the mighty two-horned 
Stags. Flies, Moths, Grubs, and other insects attacked and routed our 
centre. Prince Humble-Bee calculated on the Ehinoceros-Beetles 
attacking his heavy troops, compelling them to traverse the field, 
separating the two armies ; but the Beetle, who had been apprised of 
the plan of campaign by a deserter, commanded his troops to close 
their ranks and their wings, thus to await the enemy's shock. 

The colours floated in the wind, the sun shone brightly on the 




insects ranged in battle array, while martial music fired our foes with 



DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS. 229 

desperate resolve. From time to time grains of balsam, projected into 
the air by Stag-Beetles with much precision, fell among our troops, 
exploding and scattering death and dismay around. The enemy's 
forces stood firm as a rock. Our army, thoroughly demoralised, made 
a final attack, and were beaten off with great loss. Bruised wings, 
scattered mandibles and limbs impeded their movements, till at last 
they fell back in disorder. As a climax to our misfortunes, the general 
of the May Bugs, rolling over on his back, was pierced by the sting of 
a rebel Wasp. It was a lost battle the Waterloo of our cause ! Prince 
Humble-Bee, not caring to survive his defeat, plunged into the thick of 
the fray, when, after performing prodigies of valour, he died the death 
of the brave, pierced by twenty-nine wounds. 

Notes by the 0$ce-Boy. 

Knowing the anxiety of my chiefs to keep our readers posted up in 
news, I take the liberty of writing in my turn, and shall go on until I 
am arrested. 

My masters had just finished speaking, when the door flew to atoms. 
The Elephant had rung out the hour of doom at the door bell, and 
shivered the door with his foot. The pen fell from Mr. Parroquet's 
claw, and his eyes closed as if in deep thought. 

" What do you see ? " he inquired of Mr. Cock, who stood at the 
window. 

" I see trouble upon trouble ; we are menaced on all sides ! Con- 
found them ! ! " cried he bravely ; " why should we yield ? " 

11 Yield only to reason ! " said the Monkey ; " never to force ! " 

" What ! " crowed the Cock, jumping on the back of the Ape ; 
"you cowardly, man-like animal, reason would tempt you to yield up 
your post ? " 

" No doubt about it," replied the Ape, who became as livid as this 
paper ; " if I am " 

He had no time to finish his sentence ; the cabinet door flew open 
and the Fox entered. 

" Arrest these gentlemen," said he to the Dogs who followed him, 
pointing to the trio of editors. 

The Parroquet flew up the chimney, the Monkey hid beneath his 
arm-chair, while the Cock stood defiant, his comb never having assumed 
a hue so red. They were arrested. 

" What are you doing here ? " said the Fox to me. 



DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS. 231 

" Whatever you choose, my lord," I replied. 

" Well, remain here," he continued. 

Many others had entered with the speaker, and shouted, " Long live 
my lord the Fox ! " They were right, for never had I beheld so affable 
a prince. 

" My friends," he said, " nothing in this office is changed ; only one 
additional animal appears." (Cheers.) . 

The Fox, taking up the abandoned pen of the Ape, sat down to 
write his first proclamation. 

FIRST PROCLAMATION. 

"Inhabitants of the Jardin des Plantes, the editors having been 
removed, all cause for disorder has ceased." 

"THE Fox, 

"Provisional President and Editor." 

" Eead and sign this document," said he to the ex-editors. 
Whereupon the Cock replied, " Sir, I shall not dishonour myself by 
such a treacherous act." 

" We shall see," replied the Fox. 

He then proceeded to draw up another proclamation. 



SECOND PROCLAMATION. 

" Citizens, while you were asleep you were being betrayed, but 
friends were watching for you. Too long had we bowed our heads 
without murmuring j the time had come for us to assert our dignity. 
The traitors who governed and sold you breathe no more ! The 
records of our nation will teach the world how the animal kingdom 
redresses its wrongs. During this hour justice has been executed, the 
work is finished, the culprits have paid with their lives the penalty of 
their guilt they have been hanged ! 

" N.B. Out of sacred regard for our ancestors who suffered the 
extreme penalty of the law, they have been hanged on new gibbets. 

"THE FOX." 

The Cock listened unmoved to the reading of this second document. 
" But," said the Monkey, " my lord, we are not hanged." 
" Are you really thinking of hanging us ? " cried the Parroquet, 
weeping at the prospect. 



232 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



"No," replied the Fox, "it is a proceeding I do not care to cany 
out, only you must appear to have been hanged." 

The shouts of the populace outside could be plainly heard, demand- 
ing the heads of the editors. 

"Patience," replied the Fox, addressing the people from time to- 
time "patience, if you are wise. You shall have some medals to- 




commemorate this event. [Aside.] To refuse nothing, and to give 
nothing, is the way to govern wisely and well." 

The shouts, "Death to the tyrants!" "Death to the editors ! " 
redoubled. 

" You hear, gentlemen," said the Fox. " It is necessary to do some- 
thing for the people ; yet," he added, " if you can find means to deceive 
them by preserving your lives, you may do so." 

"Means!" screamed the Monkey; "I have found them," and in 
his joy he turned three somersaults. 

Mr. Monkey had got possession of the stuffed body of an ancestor, 



DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS. 233 

no doubt with the intention of honouring his race. He at once pro- 
duced the relic, and it was decided that this defunct relative should 
figure on the gibbet in place of his erring descendant. To better 
deceive the multitude, before sending the mummy to martyrdom the 
Monkey attired it in his coat and well-known cap ; this he did, not 
without tokens of genuine grief. 

" Now, my dear sir," continued the Fox, " you must seek retirement 
for fifteen days, after which I think you may venture to show yourself 
again. There is no dead man or monkey who in Belle France has 
not the right to come to life audaciously at the end of a fortnight. 
The people are the most magnanimous of enemies they forget every- 
thing." 

"They are also the most fickle friends," replied the Ape; then, 
casting a last fond look on his boxes, his table, and his office, he 
vanished. 

The Parroquet found means of communicating with an old friend, 
an ardent admirer of his talent, who volunteered to be hanged in his 
stead. A quarter of an hour after the execution, the ungrateful 
Parroquet was joking with his wife about the folly of martyrdom. 

The Cock, who remained true to his principles, suffered death, much 
to the regret of a numerous circle of female admirers. 

The crowd, drawn together with the view of seeing such mighty 
personages dangling in the air, had its wish gratified. Some silent 
worshippers of the illustrious dead could scarcely believe their eyes. 

" Is it possible," they said, " that animals of such influence can be 
hanged like common felons? What is the world coming to? They, 
only the other day, seemed to be the mainsprings of life ! " 

A bird whose name remains unknown published a pamphlet on 
this subject, in which he developed this proposition : "Is it good that 
he who governs is not the State 1 for should misfortune befall him, 
there would be an end to the State." 

After the executions had taken place the Fox thought proper to 
make the two proclamations public, and being in a mood for proclama- 
tions, issued a third. 

THIRD PROCLAMATION. 

" Inhabitants of the Jardin des Plantes, invested by your confidence 
with a post so important as that of directing the second and last part 



234 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

of our National History, it is needless here to expose the principles 
which obtained for me your suffrage. It is by my work you shall judge 
me. I shall make no pledges, although pledges cost nothing. I shall not 
tell you that the golden age is about to begin for you, whatever the 
golden age may be ; but I can assure you that when you find neither 
pen, ink, nor paper in my office, it will be because they are not to be 
had at any price. My advice for all is to observe justice and sincerity. 
Eemember, were these words blotted out of the dictionary, you would 
still find them indelibly engraved on the heart of a Fox. 

" Your brother and director, 

"THE FOX." 

The effect of these proclamations, which were circulated everywhere, 
was almost magical. Perfect tranquillity reigned \ the politest civilities 
were exchanged by all ; a little dust sprinkled over the dead, and one 
would imagine that neither war nor bloodshed had ever disgraced this 
smiling land. Some disagreeable animals who sneak about and ferret 
out everything, having no fault to find with the chief editorship of the 
Fox, inquired by whom he had been elected chief? What can it 
matter to them, so long as he has been elected ? One names one's self, 
but one is no less editor-in-chief for all that. 

My lord, casting his eyes over my work, was pleased to inform me 
that I gave him satisfaction, and that he intended to recompense me. 
Yesterday I was office-boy, to-day I am His Highness's private* sec- 
retary ! Yesterday my feet were trod on, to-day they are licked ! I 
am evidently somebody, and can do something. I embraced the 
occasion to inform him I had been yard-dog in a college. 

"I congratulate you on your university training. Even if one knows 
nothing on leaving the walls of such an institution, one is credited with 
profound knowledge. The important part of life consists not in being, 
but in appearing to be." 

It is said that I sold myself; it is a mistake, I was bought, that was 
all. Besides, the advantageous post just given to me belonged to no 
one ; it was made expressly for me. There is a ring at the bell, it is 
a deputation of animals. 

" We come," said the chief of the deputation humbly, " to represent 
to your Highness that something is wanting in our glorious con- 
stitution." 



DAILY BULLETIN OF EVENTS. 



235 



"What? "said the Fox. 

" Sir," replied the deputy, " what will posterity say to our pulling 



through a revolution without eating or drinking 







TIIF. DEPUTATION. 



236 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

r >' "Gentlemen," said His Highness President Fox, "I note with plea- 
sure your attention to important details,, and that the country may rely 
upon your practical common sense. Go and dine." 




GOING TO THE BANQUET. 

A great public dinner was prepared, in token of rejoicing, in a field 



DAILY B ULLE TIN OF E VENTS. 237 



in front of the amphitheatre. As on all similar occasions, there was 
much speech-making and little food, at least for many of the most 
deserving supporters of the republic. The Insects were relegated to an 
obscure position, politely called the place of honour, where they feasted 
on fine phrases. In consideration of his position, the Fox, as President, 
was supported by a Duck and Indian Hen, who kept a respectful distance 
from His Excellency. It was a most amicable gathering. The views 
expressed were as diverse as the individuals present. One said white, 
another black ; one red, another green ; and all agreed that the speakers 
were the living representatives of worth, genius, and national progress. 
The Fox was everything to every one. He had a smile and kind word 
for each guest. "You do not eat," he said to the Cormorant. "Are 
you ill ? " to the White Bear ; " you seem pale." To his vis ct vis, " Have 
the Wolves no teeth now ? " To the Penguin, who was yawning, " You 
require rest after your exploits." To the Blackbird, " You seem silent." 
And to all, " My good friends, use your pens freely." At last came 
the toasts, the time for oratorical display. You should have watched 
how each one retired within himself, scratched his head or pensively 
caressed his tail as a means of inspiration, how each silently rehearsed 
his little speech. Unfortunately the order of the toasts had been 
arranged beforehand not only the order, but the number as well. 
Splendid fasting might be forgiven, but the cancelling of a cherished 
toast never ! In spite of this wise precaution, there were so many 
speakers that my pen and patience alike failed to enumerate them. 
As may be imagined, the first toast was Liberty ; this is traditional, and 
it is no fault of those who dine if liberty makes a poor show on such 
occasions. By courtesy the second was the Ladies, couched in these 
terms, " To the sex that adorns and ennobles life ! " This toast, pro- 
posed by an amiable Hippopotamus well known for his gallantry, was 
greeted with applause. 

Towards the close of the evening wine flowed freely, and as the 
contents of the cask fell, the spirits of the party rose to that pitch 
when all things earthly seemed steeped in the roseate light of a glorious 
dawn. The repast ended like all others of the kind, when the face of 
the universe is proposed to be changed, and the world forced backwards 
by eating and drinking. But the morning revealed the marvellous fact 
that the world still revolved in its old way, and that recourse must 
again be had to the common, traditional, time-honoured modes of life, 
at least so thought the Fox, who replaced his cap by a little crown, 



238 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

declaring at the same time that in future he would shun popular 
feasts as he would the devil. 

" I am about to draw up a charter. A nation that has a charter 
wants for nothing. Here is my charter : 

" All animals who can read, write, and especially count, who have 
hay in their racks, and powerful friends, being all equal before the law, 
shall receive protection. The great ones of the Jardin des Plantes may 
therefore enjoy their ease. The lesser ones are requested to give up 
what little they have, and to become so small as to be imperceptible 
and impalpable. 

" It is impossible to please every one ; those who are displeased ought 
not to be astonished, as they have a right to complain. The right of 
drawing up petitions is solemnly recognised. But as it is well known 
that the moments of a ruler are precious, and as it would be impossible 
for him to receive all the petitioners, it is forbidden for any one to 
bring his petition to the august arm-chair. They will only be received 
when sent by post, postage prepaid, and will only be read when con- 
venient to do so." 

The animals required no second telling. Every one having some source 
of complaint, petitions arrived in cartloads. The earth and air were 
thronged with messengers and couriers of every description. The 
charter had not been published two hours before the house, cellars, 
and lofts were packed full of petitions. They were even piled up 
against the outside door. 

" Fools ! " said the Fox, laughing in his sleeve to see they had taken 
him at his word. " How long will they imagine that governments are 
made to protect them? Yet I must look at these petitions, and in 
order to observe the strictest impartiality, will close my eyes." 

He opened one written by a Bittern, signed and crossed by many 
supporters. It ran as follows : 

" The undersigned declare that they have had enough of civil dis 
cords and of preliminary proceedings, and suggest that the white 
Blackbird should now be called upon to relate his history." 

" I like this petition," said the Fox, " as it enables us to dispense 
with opening the others. The others may make a bonfire." 

No sooner said than done. They were burned. 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 



How glorious and yet how 
painful it is to be an ex- 
ceptional Blackbird ! I 
am not a fabulous bird. 
M. de Buffon has described 
me. But, alas ! I am of 
an exceedingly rare type, 
very difficult to find, and 
one that ought. I think, 
never to have existed. 

My parents were worthy 
birds, who lived in an old 
out-of-the-way kitchen- 
garden. Ours was a most 
exemplary home. While 
my mother laid regularly 
three times a year, my 
father, though old and 
petulant, still grubbed 
round the tree in which 
she sat, bringing her the 
daintiest insect fare. When night closed round the scene, he never 
missed singing his well-known song, to the delight of the neighbour- 
hood. No domestic grief, quarrel, or cloud of any sort had marred this 
happy union. 

Hardly had I left my shell, when my father, for the first time in his 
life, thoroughly lost his temper. Although I was of a doubtful grey, he 
neither recognised in me the colour nor the shape of his numerous 
posterity. 

" This is a most doubtful child," he used to say, as he cast a side 




240 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

glance at me, " neither white nor black, as dirty-looking as he seems 
ill-begotten." 

"Ah me ! " sighed my mother, who was always coiled up in a ball on 
her nest. " You yourself, dear, were you not a charming good-for- 
nothing in your youth ? Our little pet will grow up to be the best of 
our brood." 

While taking my part, my mother felt inward qualms as she saw my 
callow down grow to feathers ; but, like all mothers, her heart warmed 
to the child least favoured by nature, and she instinctively sought to 
shield me from the cruel world. 

When I was moulting, for the first time my father became quite 
pensive, and considered me attentively. While my down fell off he 
even treated me with some degree of favour, but as soon as my poor 
cold wings received their covering, as each white feather appeared, he 
became so furious that I dreaded his plucking me alive. Having no 
mirror, I remained ignorant of the cause of his wrath, and was at a loss 
to account for the studied unkindness of the best of parents. One day, 
filled with joy by a beam of sunlight and the warmth of my new coat, I 
left the nest, and alighting in the garden, burst into song. Instantly 
my father darted down from his perch with the velocity of a rocket. 

^"What do I hear?" he cried. " Is that meant for a Blackbird's 
whistle ? Is it thus I sing 1 Do you call that song ? " 

Returning to my mother with a most dangerous expression lurking 
round his beak, " Unfortunate ! who has invaded our nest ] who laid 
that egg?" 

At these words my good mother jumped from her nest fired by proud 
resentment. In doing so she fell and hurt her leg; she wished to speak, 
but her heart was too full for words. She fell to the ground fainting. 

Frightened and trembling, I cast myself at my father's feet. "0 
my father ! " I said, " if I whistle out of tune, and am clothed in white, 
do not punish my poor mother. Is it her fault that nature has not 
tuned my ear like yours ? Is it her fault that I have not your yellow 
beak and glossy black coat, which recall a sleek parson swallowing an 
omelette ? If Heaven has made me a monster, and if some one must 
bear the punishment, let me be the only sufferer." 

"That is not the question," said my father. "Who taught you to 
whistle against rule ] " 

" Alas ! sir," I said humbly, " I whistled as best I could, because my 
breast was full of sunshine and stomach full of grubs." 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 241 

" Such whistling was never known in my family," he replied. " For 
untold centuries we have whistled, from father to son, the notes alone 




by which we are known. Our morning and evening warblings have 

Q 



242 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

been the pride of the world since the dawn that awoke us to the joys 
of paradise. My voice alone is the delight of a gentleman on the first 
floor and of a poor girl in the attic of yonder house. They open their 
windows to listen to me. Is it not enough to have your whitened 
clown-at-a-fair coat constantly before my eyes? Were I not the 
most pacific of parents, I should have you plucked and toasted on the 
poor girl's spit." 

"Well," I cried, disgusted with my father's injustice, "be it so, I 
will leave you deliver you from the sight of this white tail you are 
constantly pulling. As my mother lays three times a year, you may 
yet have numerous black children to console your old age. I will seek 
a hiding-place for my misery ; perchance some shady spout which shall 
afford flies or spiders to sustain my sad life. Adieu ! " 

"Please yourself," replied my father, who seemed to enjoy the 
prospect of losing me; "you are no son of mine in fact, you are no 
Blackbird." 

" And who may I be, pray 1 " 

"Impossible to say; but you are no Blackbird." 

After these memorable words, my unnatural parent with slow steps 
left me, and my poor mother limped into a bush to weep. As for 
myself, I flew to the spout of a neighbouring house. 

II. 

My father was heartless enough to leave me in this mortifying 
situation for some days. In spite of his violence he was naturally 
kind-hearted, and had he not been prevented by his pride, he would 
have come to comfort me. I saw that he would fain forgive and 
forget, while my mother's eyes hardly left me for an instant. For all 
that, they could not get over my abnormally white plumage, and bring 
themselves to own me as a member of the family. 

" It is quite evident I am not a Blackbird," I repeated to myself, 
and my image, reflected in a pool of water in the spout, confirmed this 
belief. 

One wet night, when I was going off to sleep, a thin, tall, wiry- 
looking bird alighted close by my side. He seemed, like myself, a 
needy adventurer, but in spite of the storm that lifted his battered 
plumage, he carried his head with a proud and charming grace. I 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 243 

made him a modest bow, to which he replied with a blow of his wing, 
nearly sweeping me from the spout. 

" Who are you 1 " he said with a voice as husky as his head was 
bald. 

" Alas ! good sir," I replied, fearing a second blow, " I have no notioii 
who I am ; I imagine myself to be a Blackbird." 

The singularity of my reply, together with my simple artlessness, 
interested him so much that he requested me to tell him my history, 
which I did. 

" Were you like me, a Carrier-Pigeon," said he, "all the doubtings 
and nonsense would be driven out of your head. Our destiny is to 
travel. We have our loves we also have our history ; yet I own I don't 
know who my father is. To cleave the air, to traverse space, to view 
beneath our feet man-inhabited mountains and plains ; to breathe the 
blue ether of the sky, in place of the foul exhalations of the earth ; to 
fly like an arrow from place to place, bearing tidings of peace or war, 
these are our pleasures and our duties. I go farther in one day than 
a man does in six days." 

"Well, sir," I replied, a little emboldened, "you are a Bohemian 
bird." 

" True," he said ; " I have no country, and my knowledge is limited 
to these things my wife, my little ones ; and where my wife is, there 
is my country." 

"What have you round your neck?" 

"These are papers of importance," he replied proudly. "I am 
bound for Brussels with news to a celebrated banker which will lower 
the interest of money one franc seventy-eight centimes." 

" Ah me ! " I exclaimed, " you have a noble destiny. Brussels must, 
I suppose, be a tine city? Could you not take me with you ? as I am 
not a Blackbird, perhaps I am a Carrier-Pigeon." 

" Were you a Carrier you would have returned my blow." 

"Well, sir," I continued, "I will return it, only don't let us quarrel 
about trifles. Morning dawns and the storm has abated, pray let me 
follow you. I am lost, have no home, nothing in the world ; should 
you leave me, I shall destroy myself in the gutter." 

" Come along, follow me if you can." 

Casting a last look at the garden where my mother was sleeping, I 
spread my wings and away I flew. 



244 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



III. 

My wings were still feeble, and while my guide flew like the wind, I 
struggled along at his side, keeping up pretty well for some time. 
Soon I became confused, and nearly fainting with fatigue, gasped 
out, " Are we near Brussels ? " 

"No, we are at Cambray, and have sixty miles to fly." 

Bracing myself for a final effort, I flew for another quarter of an 
hour, and besought him to rest a little as I felt thirsty. 

"Bother! you are only a Blackbird," replied my companion, con- 
tinuing his journey as I fell into a wheat-field. 

I know not how long I lay there. When at last I made an effort 
to raise myself, the pain of the fall and fatigue of the journey so 
paralysed me that I could not move. The dread of death filled my 
breast when I saw approaching me two charming birds, one a nicely- 
marked coquettish Magpie, the other a rose-coloured Eingdove. The 
Dove stopped a few paces off and gazed on me with compassion, but 
the Magpie hastened to my side, saying, " Ah, my poor child, what 
has befallen you in this lonely spot ? " 

" Alas ! madam, I am a poor traveller left by a courier on the road ; 
I am starving." 

" What do I hear 1 " she exclaimed, and flew to the surrounding 
bushes, gathering some fruits, which she presented on a holly leaf. 
"Who are you?" she continued; " where do you come from? Your 
account of yourself is scarcely to be credited ; you are so young, you 
have only cast your down. What are your parents? how is it they 
leave you in such a plight? I declare it is enough to make one's 
feathers stand on end." 

While she was speaking I raised myself a little and ate the fruit 
ravenously, the Dove watching my every movement most tenderly. 
Seeing I was athirst, she brought the cup of a flower half full of 
rain-drops, and I quenched my thirst, but not the fire kindled in 
my heart. I knew nothing of love, but my breast was filled with a 
new sensation. I should have gone on dining thus for ever, had it 
been possible, but my appetite refused to keep pace with my senti- 
ment, nor would my narrow stomach expand. 

The repast ended and my energies restored, I satisfied the curiosity 
of my friends by relating my misfortunes. The Magpie listened with 
marked attention, while the tender looks of the Dove were full of 



HISTORY OP A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 



245 




246 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

sympathy. When I came to the point where it was necessary to 
confess ignorance of my name and nature, I felt certain I had sealed 
my fate. 

"Come," cried the Magpie, '-you are joking. You a Blackbird? 
Nonsense ; you are a Magpie, my dear fledgling a M'agpie, if ever there 
was one, and a very nice one too," she added, touching me lightly with 
her fan-like wing. 

"Madam," I replied, "it seems to me that I am entirely white, and 
that to be a Magpie Do not be angry, pray." 

" A Ku-ssian Magpie, my dear ; you are a Russian Magpie." 

"How is that possible, when I was hatched in France, of French 
parents ? " 

" My good child, there is no accounting for these freaks of nature. 
Believe me, we have Magpies of all colours and climes born in France. 
Only confide in me, and I will take you to one of the finest places on 
earth." 

" Where, madam, if you please 1 " 

"To my verdant palace, my little one. There you \\ill behold life 
as it ought to be. There you shall not have been a Magpie for five 
minutes before you shall resolve to die a Magpie. We are about one 
hundred all told, mark you, not common village Magpies who pick up 
their bread along the highway. Our set is distinguished by seven black 
marks and five white ones on our coats. You are altogether white. 
That is certainly a pity, but your Eussian origin will render you a wel- 
come addition to our number. I will put that straight. Our existence 
is spent in dressing and chattering, and we are each careful to choose 
our perch on the oldest and highest tree in the land. There is a huge 
oak in the heart of our forest, alas ! it is uninhabited ; it was the 
home of the late Pius X., and is now the resort of Penguins. We 
pass our time most pleasantly, our women folk are not more gossiping 
than their husbands are jealous. Our pleasures are pure and joyous, 
since our hearts are as true as our language is free. Our pride is 
unbounded. Should an unfortunate low-born Jay or Sparrow intrude 
himself, we set upon him and pick him to pieces. Nevertheless, our 
fellows are the best in the world, and readily help, feed, and persecute 
the poor Sparrows, Bullfinches, and Tomtits who live in our underwood. 
Nowhere can one find more gossip, and nowhere less malice. We are 
not without devout Magpies who tell their beads all day long, and the 
gayest of our youngsters are left to themselves, even by dowagers. In 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 247 

a word, we pass our time in an atmosphere of glory, honour, pleasure, 
and misery." 

" This opens up a splendid prospect, madam, and I would be foolish 
not to accept your hospitality yet, before starting on our journey, per- 
mit me to say a word to this good Ringdove. Madam," 1 continued, 
addressing the Dove, " tell me frankly, do you think I am a Russian 
Magpie? ?; 

At this question the Dove bent her head and blushed. "Really, 
sir." she replied, " I do not know that I can." 

" In Heaven's name, madam, speak ; my words cannot offend you. 
You who have inspired me with a feeling of devotion so new and so 
intense that I will wed either of you if you tell me truly what I am." 
Then softly I continued, " There seems to be something of the Dove 
about me, which causes me the deepest perplexity." 

a ln truth," said the Dove, "it may be the warm reflection from the 
poppies that imparts to your plumage a dove-like hue." 

She dared say no more. "Oh, misery !" I exclaimed, "how shall I 
decide] How give my heart to either of you while it is torn with 
doubts ] Socrates, what an admirable precept was yours, yet how 
difficult to follow, ' Know your own mind ' ! It now occurred to me to 
sing, in order to discover the truth. I had a notion that my father was 
too impulsive, as he condemned me after hearing the first part of my song. 
The second part, I was fain to believe, might work miracles with these 
dear creatures. Politely bowing by way of claiming their indulgence, I 
began to whistle, then twitter and make little warblings, after which, 
inflating my breast to its fullest, I sang as loud as a Spanish muleteer 
in his mountains. The melody caused the Magpie to move away little 
by little with an air of surprise, then in a stupefaction of fright she 
described circles round me like a cat round a piece of bacon which had 
burned her, and which proved too tempting to relinquish. The more 
impatient she became, the more I sang. She resisted five-and-twenty 
bars, and then flew back to her green palace. The Ringdove had fallen 
asleep admirable illustration of the power of song. I was just about 
to fly away when she awoke and bade me adieu, saying 

" Handsome, dull, unfortunate stranger, my name is Gourouli. 
Think of me, adieu ! " 

" Fair Gourouli ! " I replied, already on my way, " I would fain live 
and die with thee. Such happiness is not for me." 



248 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



IV. 

The sad effect of my song weighed heavily upon me. Alas ! music- 
and poesy, how few hearts there are who understand thee ! Wrapped 
in these reflections, I knocked my head against a bird flying in an 
opposite direction. The shock was so great that we both fell into a 
tree. After shaking ourselves, I looked at the stranger, expecting a 
scene, and with surprise noted he was white, wearing on his head a 
most comical tuft and cocking his tail in the air. He seemed in no- 
way disposed to quarrel, so I took the liberty of asking his name and 
nationality. 

" I am more than astonished you do not recognise me," he said. "Are 
you not one of us ? " 

" In truth, sir," I replied, " I do not know who I am myself, far less 
who you are. Every one asks me the same question, ' Who are you 1 ' 
Who should I be if I am not one of nature's practical jokes ? " 

"Come now, that will do; I am no green hand to be caught by 
chaff. Your coat suits you too well ; you cannot disguise yourself, my 
brother. You certainly belong to the illustrious and ancient family 
called in Latin Cacuata, and in the vulgar tongue Cockatoo." 

" Indeed, sir ? Since you have been good enough to find me a family 
and a name, may I inquire how a well-bred Cockatoo conducts his 
affairs ? " 

" We do nothing, and what is more, we are paid for doing nothing I 
I am the great poet Cacatogan quite an exceptional member of my 
family. I have made long journeys, crossed arid plains, and made no 
end of cruel peregrinations. It seems but yesterday since I courted 
the Muses, and my attachment has been most unfortunate. I sang 
under Louis XVI., I clamoured for the Republic, I chanted under the- 
Empire, discreetly praised the Reformation, and even made an effort 
in these degenerate days to meet the exigencies of this heartless cen- 
tury. I have tossed over the world clever distiches, sublime hymns,, 
graceful dithyrambics, pious elegies, furious dramas, doubtful romances, 
and bloody tragedies. In a word, I flatter myself I have added some 
glorious festoons, gilded pinnacles, and choice arabesques to the temple 
of the Muses. Age has not bereft me of poetic fire. I was just com- 
posing a song when we came into collision, and you knocked the train 
of my ideas off the line. For all that, if I can be of any service to you 
I am heartily at your disposal." 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 



249 



" You, sir, can serve me," I replied, " for at this moment I too feel 
something of the poetic fire of which yon speak, although, unlike 
yourself, laying no claims to poetic fame. I am naturally endowed 
with a voice and song which together violate all the old rules of art." 




" I myself have forgotten the rules. Genius may not be fettered, her 
flights arc far beyond all that is stiff and formal in schools of art." 
" But, sir, my voice has a most unaccountable effect on those who 



250 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

listen to its melody, an effect similar to that of a certain Jean de 
Nivelle whom You know the rest." 

"Yes, yes," said Cacatogan. "I myself suffer from a similar cause, 
thoroughly inexplicable, although the effect is incontestable." 

" Sir, you are the Nestor of poetry. Can you suggest a remedy for 
this peculiarity of song ? " 

" No ; during my youth I was much annoyed by it. Believe me, its 
effect indicates only the public inability to appreciate true inspira- 
tion." 

" That may be so. Permit me to give you an example of my style, 
after which you will be better able to advise me." 

" Willingly," replied Cacatogan ; " I am all ears." 

I tuned my pipe at once and had the satisfaction of seeing that he 
neither flew off nor fell asleep, but riveted his gaze on me, and from 
time to time displayed tokens of approbation. Soon, however, I per- 
ceived he was not listening ; his flattering murmurs were lavished on 
himself. 

Taking advantage of a pause in my song he instantly struck in, "It 
is the six-thousandth production of my brain, and who dare say I am. 
old ? My lines are as harmonious and my imagination as vivid as 
ever. I shall exhibit this last child of my genius to my good friends ; " 
thus saying he flew off without another word. 



Y. 

Left thus alone and disappointed, I hastened my flight to Paris, 
unfortunately losing my way. The journey with the Pigeon had been 
too rapid and unpleasant to leave any lasting impression of landmarks 
on my mind. I had made my way to Bourget, and was driven to seek 
shelter in the woods of Morfontaine just as night closed in. 

Every bird had sought its nest save the Magpies and Jays the 
worst bedfellows in the world who were quarrelling on all sides. On 
the borders of a brook two Herons stood gravely meditating, while close 
at hand a pair of forlorn husbands were patiently waiting the arrival 
of their giddy wives, who were flirting in an adjoining hedge. Loving 
Tomtits played in the underwood, beneath a tree where a busy Wood- 
pecker was hustling her brood into a hollow in the trunk. On all sides 
resounded voices saying, "Come, my wife!" "Come, my daughter!" 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 



251 




252 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



"Come, my beauty!" "Here I am, my dear!" "Good-night, love ! " 
"Adieu, my friends! " " Sleep well, my children i " 

The situation for a celibate was most embarrassing. I was almost 
tempted to seek the hospitality of some birds of my own size, as we 
all looked alike grey in the dark. At last perching on a branch 
where there was a row of different birds, and modestly taking the lower 
end, I hoped to remain unobserved ; but I was disappointed. My 
nearest neighbour was an old Dove, as thin as a rusty weather-cock. 
The moment I approached her, the few feathers which covered her 
bones became the objects of her solicitude. She pretended to pick 
them, but as they had only a slender hold of her skin, merely passed 
them in review, to make sure she had her right number. Scarcely 
had I touched her with the tip of my wing, when, drawing herself up 
majestically, she said, " How dare you, sir 1" administering at the same 
time a vigorous British push that sent me spinning into the heath, on 
the top of a Hazel Hen, who would have willingly made room for me,, 
only her spare bed was taken up by a son returned from the harvesting. 

I heard myself called by the sweet voice of a Thrush, who made 
signs for me to join her companions. Here at last, I thought, are some 
birds of my feather, and nothing loath, took my place among them as. 
lightly as a billet-doux disappearing in a lady's muff. Alas ! I discovered 
that the dames had feasted freely on the juice of the grape, so I 
left them, to flee I knew not where, as the night was pitchy dark. 
Onward I sped till arrested by a burst of heavenly music. It was the 
song of the Nightingale, and dame Nature, attired in her sombre hues, 
stood listening in silence to the glorious lullaby that had soothed 
her children to sleep. The song recalled the first notes that doomed 
me to become an outcast. There was a touch of melancholy about the 
music, a mournful refrain that seemed to breathe forth a longing for 
something brighter, purer, holier than all life's experiences. My 
resolution to live my life out seemed to melt away in the liquid strain, 
and at the risk of becoming the prey of some nocturnal Owl, I plunged 
into the darkness determined to return to my home or die in the effort. 
At daybreak I descried the towers of Notre Dame, and soon perched 
upon the sacred building, to rest for a moment before alighting in the 
old garden. Alas ! absence had wrought a sad change. Nothing re- 
mained to mark the site save a bundle of fagots. Where was my 
mother ? In vain I piped and sang, and called on her to return. She 
had left the old familiar scene. There stood the woodman's axe that 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 253 

had laid low the trees and severed the ties of kindred. The shrubs 
of the green lane were rooted up to make way for the cold grey stones 
of the abodes of men. 

VI. 

I searched for my parents in all the gardens around, but in vain ; 
they had doubtless sought refuge in some distant spot, and were lost 
to me for ever. Overwhelmed with sorrow, I lingered about the spout 
from which my father's wrath had exiled me. Sleep deserted me, and 
I lay down to die of hunger and grief. One day my sad reflections 
were interrupted by the jarring discord of two voices. Two slattern 
dames, standing slipshod, dirty, and bedraggled in the road beneath, 
were disputing over some point of household discipline, when one 
clinched the argument by exclaiming, " Egad ! when you manage, you 
slut, to do these things, just let me know on't, and my faith, I'll bring 
you a white Blackbird." 

Here was a discovery ; probably the little unforeseen circumstance 
destined to turn the tide of my fortune and land me at last in Elysium. 
I must be a real, though rare bird of a misguided type. Thus impartial 
speech is sufficient to justify the conclusion. That being so, humility 
ill befits me. It is a mistake to cheapen what in reality are attributes 
as rare as they are highly prized. I am the one living illustration 
that in nature, as in law, nothing is impossible that black even may 
become white. In law, I am told, this transformation is effected 
thoroughly, but at the same time at great cost to clients, and only by 
highly-gifted members of the bar. In my own case, natural law has 
been manipulated to bring about a like end, intended clearly for my 
gain. 

These sage conclusions led at once to my assuming the airs and 
importance of a creature who for the first time discovers that his 
genius has raised him from the gutter far above all his fellows. I 
seemed at once to acquire a more dignified and imposing strut while 
parading the spout, and at the same time a capacity for looking calmly 
into space, towards the place of my ultimate destiny, far removed from 
this narrow terrestrial sphere. All this was a wonderful transformation 
to be wrought by the careless boast of a tawdry gossip, and clearly 
proves how nicely poised are the affairs of life. Such incidents are not 
unknown among men, as the word of a fool has been known to arrest 
the overthrow of a kingdom. 



254 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

Among other things, it occurred to me, since Nature has gone out 
of her way to make me what I am, I must be a poet. I can hardly 
explain the process of reasoning which led to this belief; for all that, 
the bejief became so rooted in my brain that I must needs jot down 
my inspiration. It is universally acknowledged that the first step 
to be taken towards becoming a great poet is to look like one. I 
accordingly studied to look genius all over, and the result was, I was 
accepted as my own estimate. Next I determined to go in for classical 
verse, and bring out a poem in forty-eight cantos, so framed as to 
apprise the universe of my existence. I shall deplore my isolation in 
such a manner as to stir up the envy of the happiest beings on earth. 
Since Heaven has refused me a mate, I shall utterly condemn the law 
which divides the bird creation into families, each having its own 
distinctive attributes. I will cry down everything prove that grapes 
are sour, that Nightingales sing one into despair, and that Blackbirds 
have fallen away from their primeval whiteness. But first I must lay 
hold of a good rhyming companion, a handy-book to lift me out of the 
horrors of fishing for words of the same sound. It will also be necessary 
to establish about my person a retinue of needy journalists and authors 
as an exhaustless source of inspiration, in order to deluge the world 
with rhymes copied from the strophes of Chaucer, and with plays decked 
out from the sentiments of Shakespeare. Thus shall I ease my over- 
burdened soul, make all the Tomtits cry, the Ringdoves coo, and the 
old Owls screech. Above all, one must prove one's self inexorable 
to the sweet sentiment of love. In vain shall I be waylaid and 
entreated to have compassion on maidenly hearts melted by my song. 
My manuscripts shall be sold for their weight in gold, my books shall 
cross the seas, fame and fortune shall everywhere follow me. In short, 
I shall be a perfectly exceptional bird, an eccentric, and at the same 
time brilliant writer, received with open arms, courted, admired, and 
thoroughly detested by a thousand rivals. 

VII. 

An interval of six weeks introduced my first work to the world, 
which turned out, as I promised myself it should, a poem in forty-eight 
cantos. It was slightly marred by a few negligences, the result of 
prodigious fertility of brain and the inability of my pen to keep pace 
with my inspiration. Nevertheless, I wisely concluded that the public, 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 255 

accustomed as they are in modern times to all that is swift in thought 
and action, would shield me from reproach. The success of this, my 
pristine effort, was simply as unparalleled as it was thoroughly deserved. 
The subject of the poem was my noble self; in this respect adhering to 
the prevailing custom, I related my sufferings and adventures, and put 
the reader in possession of a thousand domestic details of the most 
piquant interest. The description of my mother's nest filled no less 
than fourteen cantos. With the most graphic minuteness were noted 
the number of straws, grasses, and leaves of which it was composed, 
the whole being idealised by the tints and reflections of poetic genius. 
I displayed the inside and the outside, the bottom and the brim, the 
graceful curves and inclined planes and angles, gradually leading the 
reader up to the grand theme of the contents the remains of flies, may- 
bugs, and grubs which supplied the dainty fare of our home. Thus 
ascending, I reserved, with true poetic art, the dramatic incidents of 
my life for the grand denotement. 

Europe was moved by the apparition of my book, and eagerly 
devoured its thrilling revelations. How could it be otherwise 1 I 
had not only laid bare the facts of my existence, but pictured the 
dreams which disturbed my repose for many years, even introducing 
an ode composed in the yet unbroken egg. Of course I did not 
neglect the subject which interests every one that is, the future of 
humanity. This problem, which for a moment had arrested my 
attention, was dealt with, and dashed off in outline, giving universal 
satisfaction. 

Every day brought its tribute of congratulatory letters and anony- 
mous love declarations, while my door was besieged by newspaper 
correspondents and Western tourists seeking an interview. All 
personal intercourse I positively declined, until forced to make an 
exception to a Blackbird from Senegal and another from China, who 
announced themselves as relatives of my own. 

"Ah, sir," they said, nearly choking me with their embraces, "you 
are indeed a noble bird. How admirably you have painted in your 
immortal lines the profound sufferings of an unknown genius ! If we 
are not already thoroughly misunderstood, we should become so after 
reading you. How deeply we sympathise with your griefs and 
your sublime scorn of vulgar opinion. Our own experience, sire, has 
made us familiar with all the troubles of which you sing. Here are 
two sonnets we humbly pray you to accept as a token of our worship." 



256 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

"Here is besides," added the Chinese, "a song composed by my 
wife on a passage in your preface. She seems to have caught wonder- 
fully the inspiration which it breathes." 

" Gentlemen," I replied, " you seem to be gifted persons endowed 
with sentiments that are a credit to your nations, but permit me to 
inquire the reason of your manifest melancholy 1 " 

" Ah, sir, see how I am formed. My plumage, it is true, is pleasant 
to behold ; it is not without the tinge of emerald green, the glory of 
Ducks and dupes. For all that, my beak is too short and my claws too 
long, and whoever saw such a frightful tail as mine ? I am nearly 
all tail. Is it not enough to give one the blues 1 " 

"As for me, sir," said John Chinaman, "my misfortune is a still 
more painful one. My comrade's tail sweeps the streets, while the 
vulgar point the finger of scorn at me because I have only a stump." 

"Gentlemen," I replied, " I pity you with all my heart. It is 
always painful to have too much or too little of anything, no matter 
what it is. But allow me to tell you that in our museums there are 
many examples of your class who have been stuffed and preserved in 
peace for years. My own case is infinitely worse than yours put 
together. I have the misfortune to be a lettered bird, a genius, and 
the only bird of my kind. In spite of my resolution to remain single, 
the return of spring-time caused me much uneasiness, and an event as 
unexpected as it was welcome decided my future. I received a letter 
from a young white Merle in London. It ran thus : 

"'I have read your poem, and the devotion it inspired has con- 
strained me to offer you my hand and fortune. God created us for 
each other. I am like you, for I am a white Merle.' 

" My surprise and joy may be imagined. A white Merle ! Is it 
possible ? I hastened to reply to the charming note equal in terse- 
ness and fathomless sentiment to a love message in the second column 
of the Times. I besought the fair unknown to come at once to Paris, 
the refuge of romance-stricken young ladies. My reply had the desired 
effect ; she came at once, or rather soon after her second letter, which 
informed me that she would not bother her parents with details. 
It was better to tell them nothing, as they might deem it necessary to 
send an old carrion Crow to look into my character. 

" Sh came at last. Oh, joy ! she was the loveliest Merle in the 
world. Was it possible that a creature so charming had lived and 
been reared for me] All my father's curses, and, above all, my 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 



257 




258 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

sufferings were welcome, since Heaven had reserved such an unexpected 
consolation for me. Till to-day I thought myself doomed to an eternal 
solitariness, but now I feel, while gazing on my lovely bride, all the 
nobler qualities of a father fully developed within me. Accept my 
claw, fair one, let us wed in the Anglo-Saxon fashion, and start for 
Switzerland. 

" Nay," replied my love, " our wedding must be on a truly magnifi- 
cent scale, all the Blackbirds of good birth must be invited. Birds in 
our position ought to observe the nicest ceremony, and not wed like 
water-spout cats. I have brought a provision of bank-notes with me. 
Arrange your invitations, and spare no cost in ordering the feast. I 
am of French origin and love display." 

Blindly yielding to the wishes of my charmer, our wedding was of 
extraordinary brilliancy. Ten thousand flies were slaughtered for the 
feast, and we received the nuptial benediction from an old father 
Cormorant, archbishop in partibus, and the happy day's festivities con- 
cluded with a splendid ball. 

The more I studied the character of my wife, the greater became my 
love. She combined in her dainty person every imaginable grace of 
body and mind. Only she was given to gossip, which I attributed to 
the influence of the English fog,, and never had a moment's doubt that 
our genial climate would dissipate this little cloud. 

There was some mystery hedging her round, which troubled me with 
grave forebodings. She used to shut herself up with her maids, under 
lock and key, for hours together, engaged,, so she said, at her toilet. 
Husbands as a rule have no patience with such proceedings. More 
than a score of times have I knocked at my wife's door without receiv- 
ing the slightest response. One day I insisted with such violence that 
she was compelled to open the door, but not without favouring me 
with a sample of her temper. On entering, the first thing that met my 
gaze was a huge bottle of a sort of paste made up of flour and white- 
wash. I inquired of my wife what she used that stuff for, to which she 
replied, it was a mixture for chilblains. This seemed rather strange, 
yet how could so charming a creature inspire me with anything but 
confidence. 

Up to the present time I had remained ignorant of the fact that my 
wife had cultivated letters. Imagine my joy on discovering that she was 
the author of a romance modelled after the style of the illustrious Sir 
Walter Scott. I was then not only the husband of an incomparable 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 



259 



beauty, but of a truly gifted companion. From that instant we worked 




==-=^=^ **<*** 



together ; while I composed my poems, she covered reams of paper and 



260 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

displayed the rare gift of listening to my recitations without pausing in 
her task of composition. She composed her romances with a facility 
almost equal to my own, always choosing subjects of rare dramatic 
value; homicides, murders, and highway robberies, taking care in 
passing, to shoot poisoned shafts at the Government by advocating the 
cause of the Merula vulgaris. In a word, no efforts were too great 
for her mind, or tricks for her modesty. Never had she need to cross 
through a line, or lay her plans before beginning to work. 

One day while my wife was toiling with unusual ardour, she per- 
spired freely, and to my horror I beheld a black patch on her back. 
"Bless my soul, dear ! " I said, " what is that ? Are you plague-stricken 1 
Are you ill ? " She at first seemed frightened and speechless, but her 
knowledge of the world soon restored her habitual self-composure, and 
she replied that it was a spot of ink, a stain to which she was subject 
in moments of inspiration. Inwardly I was greatly troubled. Does 
my wife lose her whiteness ? was a question which cost me many wake- 
ful nights. The paste bottle rose like a phantom before me. Oh 
heavens ! what doubts. Can this celestial creature, after all, only be a 
painting, a work of art ? Is she varnished to deceive me 1 Had I been 
wooed and won by a mixture of flour and whitewash 1 Haunted by 
doubt, I took measures to lay the apparition by investing in a baro- 
meter, and watching for signs of coming rain. I planned to decoy my 
wife some doubtful Sunday into the country, and try the effect of an 
impromptu wash, but we were in the middle of July, and the weather 
provokingly fine. Real happiness, and long habit of writing, had 
much increased my sensitiveness. While at work it sometimes hap- 
pened that my affections were stronger than my inspiration, and I gave 
way to tears, while waiting for my rhyme. My wife loved these rare 
occasions, and strove to soothe my masculine weakness. 

One evening while dashing through my writing according to Boileu's 
precept, my heart opened. " Oh thou, my queen ! " I said, " thou my 
only truly loved one, thou without whom my life is a dream, thou 
whose look, whose smile, fills my world with light. Life of my heart ! 
dost thou know the height, the breadth, the depth of my love 1 Before 
thou earnest to me my lot was that of an exiled orphan, now it is that 
of a king. In my poor breast thine image shall be enshrined till death. 
All ! All my hopes and aspirations are centred in thee." 

While thus raving, I wept over my wife, and as each tear-drop fell 
upon her back, she visibly changed colour. Feathers, one by one, not 



HISTORY OF A WHITE BLACKBIRD. 261 

even black, but red appeared she must have coloured red to fill some 
other role. Soon I found myself vis-a-vis with a creature unpasted, 
unfloured, and nothing more than a vulgar Blackbird. How dare I 
publish my shame ! I plucked up courage and resolved to quit the gay 
world, to give up my career, to flee to a desert, if that were possible, to 
shun the sight of every living creature. 

IX. 

I flew away broken-hearted, and the wind, the good angel of birds, 
wafted me on its wings to a branch at Mortfontaine. It was night, 
the birds were asleep, but the Nightingale still sang. Alone in the dark- 
ness his heart overflowed with his song to God for His goodness, his 
breast expanded with the sacred theme, and with a rapture unfelt by 
the most gifted poets who sing for the ears of men. I could not resist 
the temptation of addressing him. 

" Happy Nightingale, you sing because your heart is bursting with 
joy. You are indeed highly favoured, you have a wife and little ones 
which you sing to sleep on their pillow of moss. You have a full moon 
to cheer you, plenty to eat, and no journals to praise or condemn you. 
Kubini and Rosini are as nothing to you. You are equal to the one, 
and divine when compared with the other. I, sir, have wasted my life 
in pursuing the empty vanities of fame, while you have secured real 
happiness in the wood. May your secret be learned?" 

" Yes," replied the Nightingale, " but it is not what you imagine. 
My wife bothers me, I do not love her ! I am passionately fond of the 
Hose ; Sadi, the Persian, has spoken of it. I sing all night to her 
while she sleeps and is deaf to my praise. Her petals are closed at 
this hour. She cradles an old Scarab, and when the gray dawn breaks 
sadly over the wood, and my eyes are closing in sleep, then she will 
open her breast, and the Bee will be welcomed with the dainty pollen 
from the lips of her lover. 




THE QUEEN'? HUJSBAND. 

THE first political act in which I took part made so 
deep an impression on me, that I attribute the strange 
vicissitudes of my life to its influence. Permit me to 
begin my narrative without further introduction. 

I had reached maturity and become a citizen of the 
hive, when one morning I was roused by a knocking at 
the partition, and some one calling on me by name. 
, " What is wanted 1 " I inquired. 
" Come out at once ! " was the instant rejoinder. ' ' You are wanted. 
Monsieur is about to be executed, and you are required as one of the 
guards of honour," 

These awful words, which I scarcely comprehended, filled me with 
horror. I was, for all that, aware beforehand of the impending doom 
of Monsieur, but had no notion that my services would be required at 
the ghastly ceremony. 

" Here I am ! " I exclaimed, and finishing my toilet in all haste, pre- 
cipitated myself outside the hive, a prey to the strongest emotion. I 
was not pale, but green ! Monsieur was one of the finest drones in the 
hive, rather stout, but, withal, well made ; his physiognomy was full of 
a pleasing, wistful, and yet proudly aristocratic expression as novelists 
would say I had often seen him accompany the queen in her daily 
rounds of inspection, tormenting her with his jokes, helping her with 
his foot, sharing with her the prestige of sovereignty, and altogether 
appearing to be the happiest of princes, and most beloved of husbands. 
The people loved him little, but feared him much, he had the queen's 
ear, the queen had publicly kissed his forehead, and it was reported by 
one of the chamber maids that Monsieur was soon to be a father. 
This important news spread around, and filled each cell with joy. We 
saw ourselves transformed into nurses surrounded by groups of children, 
giving food to this one, rocking that one. Already in each chamber a 
soft couch was prepared to receive the new coiner, and in the evening 



THE QUEEN'S HUSBAND. 



263 



before going to sleep, certain flowers had been pointed out as those 




containing the sugar which would yield the most delicate honey, as food 
for the youngsters when they made their appearance. 

Our expectations were confirmed. Our beloved queen laid ten 
thousand twin eggs, all so beautiful that it was impossible to choose 
between them. The prince was radiant with joy, and spent his whole 
time in kissing the eggs one after the other. I had witnessed all this, 



264 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

had beheld him in his glory, and now, I was rudely awakened to see him 
dragged to his doom. More than that, oh horror ! I was chosen to be 
his executioner. The prince, under the dreadful circumstances, showed 
decided reluctance to yield up his life. This seemed all the more 
pitiable as nature had deprived him of either offensive or defensive 
weapons. He was completely in our power. 

" What have I done to deserve this doom ? Oh, my queen, grant me 
but one hour!" he cried, kneeling before her, "but half an hour, nay, 
five minutes. I have revelations, confessions ..." 

"Make haste!'" said the queen, striving to conceal her emotion; 
" we must abide by the law. Away with him ; put an end to him ; 
he is now worse than useless." 

The queen* retired to her chamber,, still full of souvenirs of the 
prince,, and in an instant he was- pierced by a thousand darts. Should 
I live a century,. I shall never forget the scene. I pretended to share 
in the outrage,, yet never moved my sting from its sheath. Even 
among the most advanced communities- there are barbarous laws. 
Poor Messieurs,, poor Messieurs ! 

Of these Messieurs,, vulgarly called Drones,, there are from five to 
six hundred in one hive, each one to be called upon to mount the 
steps of the throne,, and to pay with his life for the excess of honour 
thus accorded to him.. The prospect of a tragic end gave many of 
them sad looks, which contrasted with the natural gaiety of their 
fellows. One could mark them crawling listless-ly along among the 
thousands of orderly workers that thronged the streets, alleys, and 
cells of the city, dejected and oppressed by their coming glory. At 
the slightest noise they turned round tremblingly. " Is the queen 
calling us ? " they would inquire, and speedily they hid themselves 
away among the crowd, and, escaping from the hive, sought the 
freedom of fields and flowers. 

There are many troubles which fall to the lot of those in high posi- 
tions. The fat, overfed idlers who strut about, are most of them 
merely servants and dependants, unworthy of the vulgar admiration 
lavished on them by the working class. This sentiment of aristocracy 
worship is a common folly to which I myself have been subject, and 
which it ill befits me to condemn. Shall I confess it? I madly loved 
a Drone. Yes, I loved him. He was handsome beyond description. 
When he entered the corolla of a flower, I trembled lest the contact 
with its petals should spoil his beauty. I was mad. Platonic love ; 



THE QUEEN'S HUSBAND. 265 

for Nature permitted us only the ideal, impossible love of the poet, 
the dream of the artist. I loved this creature simply for his beauty. 

I admired the blue Dragon-fly with his silken wings, as I watched 
him skimming over the grass at the close of the day. I had, indeed, 
an eye for everything beautiful, and above all, for my superb 
Drone. 

One day I found him half drunk with honey, lying fast asleep 
in the heart of a lily ; his face, though smeared with yellow pollen, 
still retained its noble expression. He was snoring in a most majestic 
and regular manner. I stood for a moment, quite rooted to the spot 
by the glorious spectacle. This then, I thought, is a future husband 
of our queen ! I at last approached him, foolishly curious to examine 
the details of his figure, and gently touched him, when, yawning, 
he said 

" What does your Majesty want now 1 " 

Then looking at me, he perceived his mistake, and added smiling 

" I am not in your way, my child, so proceed with your work, and 
permit me to rest in peace." 

There must have been a subtle odour in this flower which stole into 
my head, for I instantly forgot my work, and remained looking at him 
dreamily. What are we ? I thought. Only miserable workers, makers 
of honey, moulders of wax, and neuter nurses to the children of those 
magnificent idlers who spend their days in sleeping in the heart of 
flowers, and dreaming that they hear the silvery tones of the queen's 
voice calling them. I own myself ashamed of my humble, laborious 
calling. How could he Love such a simple drudge? Were I even 
a Wasp, scouring lanes and hedgerows, and annoying wayfarers 
careless, coquettish, unkind always armed, offensive and useless ; 
perhaps then he might love me. Is not fear the beginning of love ? 
Hence is it not a means of seduction ? Such thoughts, and a thousand 
others, were buzzing in my brain ; still my admiration only became 
all the more intense, and I exclaimed, in spite of myself 

"0 Prince, most handsome Prince, you are exceedingly beau- 
tiful ! " 

" All right," replied the Prince, " I know it ; my position requires 
it. Pray do not disturb my repose ; go away, like a good fellow." 

This strange language to a neuter disturbed me not a little. He 
evidently did not even know my sex, far less my love for him. That 
which charmed me most was I scarce dare write it his glorious 



266 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

idleness, the helplessness of his fine body, and insolent coolness of his 
fine language. I scorned and yet loved him. I knew he was accus- 
tomed to snore daily when in this perfumed spot; I therefore got 
through with my work quickly, and made the flower my resort, after 
dressing the little ones confided to my care, and nearly choking them 
with hasty meals, so that I might go and prepare his place, and sweep 
away with my wings any yellow powder that would soil his coat. If 
a few drops of water had gathered in the corolla, I pierced it with my 
stings and left, so that my master might repose there without fear of 
rheumatism. 

He was none the more thankful ; his requirements only increased 
and kept pace with my love and care for him. He would smile, bliss- 
fully stretching himself, and request me to mount guard outside the 
flower, so that no common insect might trouble his dreams. It tried 
my temper, yet I watched. One day I saw him coming ; he was very 
pale, but his walk was steadier than usual. 

" What is the matter, Prince ? " I inquired anxiously. 

" Go away, little one. I have need of air, and the sun will not mind 
seeing me face to face to-day." 

I trembled for the misfortune that seemed to have overtaken him. 

" To-morrow ! to-morrow ! ! " he cried, making gestures which de- 
noted the trouble of his mind. "To-morrow I shall be the queen's 
husband ! " 

A mist obscured my eyes ; deep resentment filled my heart. I was 
mad with jealousy. 

" From to-day till to-morrow many things may happen ! " I exclaimed. 

" Silence ! how dare you in my presence proclaim your seditions ? " 

" No," I said, " you shall never wear the crown ! " I flew at him, and 
profiting by a momentary turn of his head, pierced him to the heart 
with my sting. Hardly had he breathed his last, when 1 burst into 
remorseful tears. 

I returned to the hive to find everything in the greatest disorder. 
The entire community, a prey to the deepest agitation, were jostling 
and knocking each other about. 

" What has happened 1 " I inquired of the first Bee I met. 

" What happened 1 " he replied. " Why, one of the Drones is 
missing. 

'' How is that known 1 " I continued with much fear. 



THE QUEEN'S HUSBAND. 267 

" At the evening call there were only five hundred and ninety-nine 
Drones present The queen has had a nervous attack, and one is lost 
in conjecture as to what will be the result." 

" A dreadful affair ! " I replied, and hastened to mingle with the 
crowd. 

The queen was inconsolable, and so was I myself, for the space of 
two whole days. 



THE I_(OVE OF Two lN3ECTg. 

PRESENTED AS AN EXAMPLE TO WISE MEN* 



SENTIMENTAL HISTORY OF ANIMALS. 

I. 
PROFESSOR GRANARIUS. 

"CERTAINLY," said Professor 
Granarius, one evening while 
seated beneath his limes, " no- 
thing is more curious than the 
conduct of Jarpeado. In truth, 
if the French followed his ex- 
ample, we should have no need 
of codes, mandates, sermons, 
or social gatherings, for the 
advancement of mankind. No- 
thing proves more conclusively 
that reason alone the attribute 
of which men are so proud is 
the prime cause of all the evils 
of Society." 

Miss Anna Granarius, who 
was devotedly attached to a poor student, could not help blushing 
deeply, for her skin was fair and delicate. Anna was the typical 

* The distinguished animal to whom we owe this history designed to show that 
the creatures so boldly named stupid by men, and in reality superior to human 
beings desires to remain anonymous. It may nevertheless be said, that he is a 
creature who held a very high place in the affections of Miss Anna Granarius, and 
that he belongs to the sect of reasoning animals, for whose members she had the 
greatest esteem. ED. 




THE LOVES OF TWO INSECTS. 269 

heroine of a Scotch novel, the profound depths of her blue eyes 
almost betokening "Second-sight." By the candid and caught look 
of the professor, she perceived he had said one of those foolish things 
which frequently fall from the lips of scientific dreamers. Leaving 
her father to follow out his dream on the depravity of human reason, 
she bent her steps to a favourite spot in the Jardin des Plantes which 
was closed for the night, as the month was July and the hour half- 
past eight. 

" What does my father mean to say about this Jarpeado who turns 
his head ? " she inwardly inquired, seating herself outside a hothouse. 
Pretty Anna remained pensively rooted to the seat, while her fcther, 
absorbed in his own thoughts, never missed her presence. The maiden 
was endowed with a highly strung nervous temperament which, had 
she lived four hundred years ago, would have brought her to the stake 
in the Place de Greve. But happily for her, she was born in more 
enlightened times. 

II. 

That which Prince Jarpeado found most extraordinary in Paris, was 
himself, like the dodge of G6nes at Versailles. He was undoubtedly a 
fine fellow, though small, remarkable for the classic beauty of his 
features. His legs might have been doubtful, a trifle or so bandy, but 
they were encased in boots garnished with precious stones and fixed 
up on three sides a la poulaine. On his back, as was the usage of 
Castraine, in his country, he carried a cape which cast into the shade 
those worn by the ecclesiastics of Charles X. It was covered with 
aberesques of diamonds on a ground of lapis-lazuli, divided into two 
equal parts like the two flaps of a trunk. These flaps were fastened 
by a gold clasp, and displayed like the priestly surplice, in token of 
dignity, for he was prince of Coccirubri. He wore a pretty necklace of 
sapphire and two aigrettes infinitely finer than any of the feathers in 
the caps of European potentates worn on State occasions. 

Anna thought him charming, only his two arms were rather short 
and slender for embracing. This slight defect, however, was carried off 
by the rich carnation of his royal blood. Anna soon found out what 
her father meant, by witnessing one of those mysterious things which 
pass unnoticed in this terrible Paris, at once so full and so empty, so 
foolish and so wise, so preoccupied and so much on the alert, yet 
always so fantastic. 



270 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



III. 

The three thousand windows of this glass palace exchanged glances 
of moonlight so bright that the edifice seemed glowing at a white 
heat, ablaze with the fire, kindled by the rising orb which so fre- 
quently deceives the traveller. The cactus was breathing forth a store 
of strange odour, the vanilla its sweet perfume. The volcaneria dis- 
tilled the vinous heat from its tufts, the jessamine exhaled a poetic 
fragrance, the magnolia intoxicated the air, while the aroma of the 
datura advanced with the pomp of a Persian king, and the powerful 
Chinese lily sent her breath onward with an overpowering force that 
assimilated all the other odours of the flowery scene. 

The perfume-laden air stood motionless to feast upon the spectacle 
presented by a troop of midnight spirits, as they rose from an en- 
chanted spot shaded by a grove of bananas, whose wide-spreading 
leaves formed a canopy gilded by a phosphorescent light. Soft streams 
of music floated around, gently awakening the spirits to their nocturnal 
revels. Suddenly the lights fell on a patch of green cactus, revealing 
the gay form of Prince Jarpeado exposed to the witchery of the fairy 
queen and her gorgeous attendants, robed in costumes so aerial as to 
disclose the full charms of their lovely forms. Phantom-Crickets sang 
love-ditties in the daintiest retreats, while a choir of winged musicians 
chanted the praises of the prince, who stood unmoved by the seductive 
art of this witching band. The passion-imbued glance of the queen fell, 
shivered against the armour of Jarpeado' s true heart, where, enshrined 
in all its artless purity, he treasured the image of the fair Anna. The 
music ceased, and in a silvery voice the queen, radiant with an 
unearthly beauty, exclaimed 

" Jarpeado ! Jarpeado ! receive the homage of the fairy queen whose 
heart thou hast won." 

The moment was enchanting. The perfumed breeze wooed the 
flashed cheek of the prince, and whispered love. Jarpeado stood 
irresolute. It was but for an instant, when rousing himself from the 
subtle influences that were kindling a fire of unworthy passion in his 
breast, he replied 

"Fair spirit, whose unearthly radiance lays siege to a true heart, 
and who with cunning and skill have sought out the weak points of 
my armour, all thine arts, wiles, arid hellish tricks can never quench 
my love for the fair Anna," 



THE LOVES OF TWO INSECTS. 



271 




272 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

Scarcely had the last word escaped his lips, when the weird scene 
was blotted out from his gaze, and a ghastly green light disclosed a 
slimy waste alive with crawling monads, and all the simplest forms of 
life. The balmy air was chilled and its fragrance replaced by the 
noxious breath of animal decay. A flash of lightning and peal of 
thunder heralded the approach of a monster with mouth wide open, 
dark and deep as the bottomless pit, his horns erect, his tail fiercely 
sweeping the waste ; onward he came, spreading terror around, and 
leaving death in his train. 

This was the Valvos, which preyed like cholera on the people, but 
the prince escaped, saved by a fair maiden. 

" Daughter of my country ! " he exclaimed, " my deliverer, cruel 
destiny stands between us ; I cannot wed thee." 

The scene changed, and Anna was transported unseen to the attic of 
her lover, the poor pupil of Granarius. Bent over his books, for a 
moment he raised his head, crying out 

" Oh ! if Anna would only wait for me ; in three years I shall have 
the cross of the Legion of Honour. I feel, I know, I shall solve this 
entomological problem, and succeed in transporting to Algeria the 
culture of the Cocus Cacti. Good heavens ! that would be a conquest." 

Anna awoke and found herself in bed, she had dreamed a dream. 
But who was this Jarpeado of whom her father constantly spoke ? 
She hastened to ask the old professor. It was necessary to be careful, 
she must watch, and after breakfast seize one of his lucid intervals ; for 
in his normal condition, her father's mind was absent exploring the 
fathomless depths of science. Seated at the breakfast table she 
exclaimed 

" Father !" just as the professor was putting a spoonful of salt into 
his coffee "what are you thinking about ?" 

" Well, Anna, dear, I was investigating the subject of monads, or 
rather the nature of these simple inorganic forms, twelve months before 
birth, and I come to the conclusion that " 

" That my dear father, if you succeed in introducing one of these 
ridiculous creatures to the scientists of Paris, you will both be 
decorated. But who, tell me, is this Prince Jarpeado 1 " 

" Prince Jarpeado is the last of the dynasty of the Cactriane," 
replied the worthy professor, who employed allegory in addressing his 
daughter, forgetful that her mind had matured, and she had ceased to 
play with dolls ; " a large country, basking in the sun's rays, and 



THE LOVES OF TWO INSECTS. 



273 




274 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

having a longitude and latitude matters these you do not comprehend. 
The country is populous as China, and like that unhappy land, subject 
to periodical inundations, not of cold water, but of hot water, let 
loose by the hand of man. This depopulates the land, but nature has 
so provided that a single prince may alone repair the damage. This 
reminds me of something I discovered ten years ago in connection 
with Infusoria, the Rotafera of Cuvier, they " 

" Yes. But the prince, the prince !" cried Anna, fearing lest her father 
should fall into a reverie and she would hear nothing more. 

" The prince," replied the old professor, giving a touch to his wig, 
" escaped thanks to the French Government from the destroying 
flood, and he has been brought up without consulting his future, away 
from his fair realm. He was transported in his undeveloped form to 
my illustrious predecessor Sacrampe the inventor of Ducks. 

" Jarpeado came here at the request of the Government on a bed of 
dust, made up of millions of his father's subjects, embalmed by the 
Indians of Gualaca, not one of the nymphs of Rubens, not one of 
Mieris' pretty girls has been able to dispense with the mummies of this 
race. Yes, my child, whole populations deck the lips which smile upon 
or defy you from each canvas. How would you like the freak of some 
giant painter who would take generations of human beings on his 
palette, crushing them to produce the colours of an immense fresco ? 
Heaven forbid that it should be so ! " Here the professor fell into a 
profound reverie as was his wont after uttering the word heaven. 

The pupil of Granarius, Jules Sauval, entered. If you have ever 
met one of those modest young fellows devoted to science, knowing 
much, yet possessing a certain simplicity, which, although charming, 
does not prevent him from being the most ambitious creature in the 
world, an innocent who would turn the earth upside down about a 
hyo'ide bone, or a univalve shell. If you have seen a youth of this 
type, then you know Jules Sauval. He was as candid as he was 
p 0or candour goes when fortune comes. He venerated Professor 
Granarius as a father, and admired in him the disciple , of the 
great Geoffroy St. Hilaire. Blessed be science, Jules Sauval would 
have just been the same, even supposing the professor had no pretty 
daughter Anna. He was a second Jarpeado alive among the dry 
bones and debris of antiquity. Just as the Coccus cacti the subjects of 
Jarpeado had been crushed to lend a glow of life to the L finest works 
of art, so the young student identified himself with defunct organisms in 



THE LOVES OF TWO INSECTS. 275 



order that science might all the more faithfully picture the forms arid 
colours of pre-historic life. Like Jarpeado, Jules Sauval had his loves, 
he admired the fair Anna as a perfect type of a highly-organised sensi- 
tive animal so he said. 

In common with the professor he was intent upon uniting this red 
prince to some analagous creature. The men of science had come 
down to the level of the members of the Chamber of Deputies, and 
talked them into erecting a spacious hothouse to contain the finest 
plants of the tropics. Within its glass walls the illustrious professor 
has found a solitary living specimen of the Coccus cacti Cochineal 
Jarpeado, whose habits they had studied so profoundly as to discover 
that the prince was endowed with pride of race, and passion of senti- 
ment, opposed to his union with any partner saving a princess of his 
own vermilion blood. 

"Alas! Professor," exclaimed Jules, "I have just left the glass- 
house, and all is lost ! There is no possibility of uniting Jarpeado to 
any living creature, he refused the Coccus ficus caricce. I had them 
under our best microscope." 

'' Ah, you horrid creature ! " cried Anna. "This is then a prince of 
the insect world, and yet his history is interesting. I might have 
known he was no human being, since you say he will die faithful to 
his first love." 

" Hush, child," said Granarius, " I fail to note the difference between 
dying faithful and unfaithful, when it is a question of dying." 

" You will never understand me, sir," said Anna, in a tone which 
startled the mild professor, " and as for you, Mr. Jules, all your science 
and all your charms will never tempt the prince to prove unfaithful. 
You, sir, shall never be capable of love such as his. A little less science 
and a trifle more common sense would have suggested keeping him 
among the dust of his defunct ancestors, where, perchance, he left his 
living partner, or will find another of red-royal blood. 

The professor and his pupil elated by this marvellous suggestion 
hastened to replace Jarpeado in the dust from which he had been 
taken. 

Alas ! sighed Anna, Jules loves me not, else he would have lingered 
with me to tell his love. I made the path clear for him. Yet he 
perceived it not, but has gone with my father to speculate on the 
introduction of this scarlet Coccus cacti dynasty into Algeria. Follow- 
ing them to the large hothouse in the Jardin des Plantes, Anna 



276 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 




THE LOVES OF TWO INSECTS. 277 

observed her father consigning the small paper of Coccus cacti dust into 
the centre of the first nopal that had flowered. 

A jealous Englishman, witness of this scientific operation, remarked 
in passing, " This old fool uses the plant as a portfolio ! " 

" Heat the house well," cried Granarius, as he fell into a profound 
reverie-, leaving his daughter and Jules to talk of love, or science. 

" So, Mr. Jules, you have ceased to love me," said Anna. 

" Nay," replied Jules, " I do not think you do me justice, but I have 
come to the conclusion that sentiment, or passion, in all animals, 
follows a fixed natural law, and being divided between two creatures 
ought to form a perfect equation." 

" Oh, infernal science ! thus to bamboozle a poor brain. Probably 
your sentiments are established on the equation of dowry, and you 
have yet to learn what love is, Mr. Jules. If you do not take care, 
science will claim possession, not only of your soul, but of your body, 
and you will become a beast like Nebuchadnezzar. History relates 
that he assumed this form because he devoted seven years to zoology 
in classing the different species, without once pausing to trim his beard. 
Six hundred years hence it will be said of certain zoologists that they 
were advanced types of the Orang-outang who stuck up for their race, 
and for themselves as examples of progression." 

Jules was called away by the professor, while Anna, turning to a 
huge microscope, beheld a new world of creatures, invisible to the 
naked eye. There she saw the Volvoce engaged in a steeple-chase, 
mounted on an animal making for the winning post. Many elegant 
Cercairse were on the course, the prize being infinitely superior to that 
of the Derby ; for the winner was to feast on the Vorticella, at once 
animals and flowers. Neither Bory, Saint Vincent, nor Miiller that 
immortal Dame have taken it upon themselves to decide whether the 
Vorticella is more plant than animal ; had they been bolder they might 
have drawn valuable conclusions from the man vegetable known to 
coachmen as melon. 

Anna was soon drawn from the contemplation of this little world 
to the fortunes of Jarpeado, who, in her vivid imagination, had become 
the hero of a fairy tale. He had at last discovered the object of his 
affections in a nursling of his tribe, over whom he watched as she lay 
in state beneath a perfumed pavilion, awaiting the incarnation common 
alike to heathen deities and zoological creatures. They were the Paul 
and Virginia of insect life. The pavilion was guarded by soldiers 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 




THE LOVES OF TWO INSECTS. 



279 



attired in madder. The prince proved himself a wise general, as well 
as ardent lover, for in order to protect his domain against a powerful- 







winged foe called the Muscicapa, he ordered all his intelligent subjects 
to throw themselves in such numbers on the monster, as to choke him, 



2 8o PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

or else satisfy his hunger. For this service he promised decorations 
and titles ; that was all he had to offer. The breast of Anna was filled 
with admiration of these cheap and valuable political inventions. 

Invisible nuns shrouded the little princess in grey veils, so that 
nothing but her head was seen as she lay in state, awaiting her new 
winged life. Anna witnessed the joy of Paul, when, like Venus rising 
from the waves, Virginia quitted her winding sheet, and like Milton's 
Eve who is a real English Eve smiled on the light, and looking at 
Paul, exclaimed, "Oh ! " this superlative of English astonishment. The 
prince, with a slave's submission, offered to show the fair one the path 
of life, across the hills and dales of his empire. 

Virginia, growing in loveliness and in the prince's affections, returned 
his care with caresses, while Paul ministered to her wants, bringing 
the ripest fruits for her food; and they at last embarked in a little skiff, 
on a lake bright as a diamond, and hardly larger than a drop of water. 
Virginia was arrayed in a bridal robe of brilliant stripes and great 
richness, her appearance recalling the famous Esmeralda, celebrated by 
Victor Hugo, only Esmeralda was a woman, and Virginia an angel who 
would not for all the world have loved a Marshal of the court, far less- 
a Colonel. Her whole affections were consecrated to Jarpeado. Happy 
pair, thought Anna, but alas ! what came of it all ? After the wedding 
came family cares, and a brood destined to make the fame and fortune 
of her much-loved, but faithless Jules. 

A few evenings later, Anna was frowning on her father, and saying 
to Jules 

" You are no longer faithful to the palm-house, so much gazing on 
the Cochineal has affected your taste. You are about to marry a red- 
haired girl, with large feet, without any figure, devoid alike of ideas 
and manners, freckled. She wears dyed dresses, and will wound your 
pride twenty times a day, and your ears with her sonatas." 

She opened her piano and began to play with such feeling, that the 
Spiders remained pensive in their webs on Granarius' ceiling, and the 
flowers put their heads in at the window to listen. 

" Ah me ! " said Anna, " animals have more sense than the wise men 
who preserve them in glass-cases." 

Jules left the room, sad at heart, for the talent, beauty, and bright- 
ness of this good soul was struggling with the concert of vulgar coins- 
which his red-haired bride was bringing to his door. 



THE LOVES OF TWO INSECTS. 281 

u Ah !" exclaimed Professor Granarius, "what have we here in the 
papers ? Listen, Anna. 

" * Thanks to the efforts of the learned Professor Granarius, assisted 
by his clever pupil Jules Sauval, ten grains of cochineal have been ob- 
tained on the Nopal in the great palm-house. Doubtless this culture 
will flourish in our African possessions, and will free us from the tribute 
we pay to the new world. Thus the expense of the great palm-house 
has been justified against which opposition was not slow to make itself 
heard but the costly structure will yet render many valuable services 
to French commerce -and agriculture. M. J. Sauval is named Chevalier 
of the Legion of Honour.' " 

" M. Jules behaves badly to us," said Anna, " for you have com- 
menced the history of the Coccus cacti, and he has impudently taken 

Bp 

" Bah ! " said the professor, " he is my pupil." 




JL<OVE &DVENTURE3 OF A FRENCH CAT. 



MINETTE TO BEBE. 

FIRST LETTER. 

'' WHAT will you say, my dear 
Be"be", on receiving this letter from 
your sister supposed to be dead, 
for whom you have doubtless wept, 
as one who is almost forgotten. 

" Forgive me, my sister, for sup- 
posing that you can ever forget 
me, although we live in a world 
where many more than the dead 
are forgotten. 

" First of all I write to tell you 
I am not dead, that my love for 
you is as strong as ever, and that I am still animated by the hope of 
one day rejoining you, alas ! my sister, that day may be far distant. 

" This evening I thought about our good mother, who was always so 
kind and careful of our toilet, whose delight it was to watch the flicker 
of the fire-light on our glossy, silken coats, and to train us in the paths 
of domestic peace, virtue, and sobriety. I was touchingly reminded of 
our simple family-life, with its happy days, and innocent frolic, all hal- 
lowed by the light of love. Yet the brightness of that light of true 
hearts casts many dark shadows across my path, shadows of regret for 
neglected ministries of tenderness to my mother who is now perhaps 
no more. Above the sentiment that prompts me to write, is the desire 
to make a regretful confession of the circumstances which separated 
me from the dear ones at home. 




ADVENTURES OF A FRENCH CAT. 



283 



" Silently I took up the pen, and the result is before you. I am 
bending over my task by the dim light of an alabaster lamp, carefully 
shaded from the eyes of my sleeping mistress. 

" Although I am rich, Bb, 1 would rather be poor and happy! Oh, 
my mistress is waking. I must quickly say good-bye. I have barely 
time to roll up my letter and push it under the cover of a chair, where 
it must remain till daybreak. When it is finished I will forward it by 
one of our attendants who is now waiting on the terrace. He will 
bring me your reply. 

" My mother ! my mother ! tell me all about her. 

"YOUR SISTER." 




KAOUF 



" P.S. Place confidence in my messenger, he is neither young nor 
handsome, neither a Spanish Grandee nor a rich Angora, but he is 
devoted and discreet. He found out your address. He loves me and 
would do anything for me, so he has become my courier. He is a 
slave ! Do not pity him ; the chains of love are his fetters. 



284 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

" You must address your letters to Madam Rosa Mika, that is the 
name I am known under here. 

"My mistress is certainly waking up, she sleeps badly, and I dread 
discovery. 

" Again, adieu ! In all this scribbling you will recognise more of the 
heart than the hand of your sister." 

BEBfi TO MINETTE. 

SECOND LETTER. 

" MY DEAR MINETTE, I thought I should go mad on reading your 
letter, my joy knew no bounds, and indeed it was shared by all. One 
would willingly see all one's relations die, if they all came to life again 
like you. Ah, Minette, your departure caused us great grief. Were you 
forced to leave us so long in doubt ? If you only knew how everything 
is changed here since you left. To begin, your mother is deaf and 
blind, and the poor old creature passes her days at the door, without 
ever uttering a complaint. When I wished to tell her you were still 
alive, I could not make her understand, and she could neither read nor 
see your letter. Her many troubles have told sadly upon her. After 
you left, she searched everywhere in vain for you, and the loss seems 
to have undermined her health and left her the wreck I describe. 

"Do not grieve too much, old age no doubt must take the lion's 
share of blame. Besides, she sleeps, drinks, and eats well ; and there is 
always plenty in the cupboard, as I would rather starve than let her 
want. 

" Our young mistress has lost her mother, so she is more unfortunate 
than we are, as she has lost everything, except her pretty figure, which 
does not change. 

" It was necessary to leave the little shop in Murais ; to give up the 
ground floor, and all at once mount to the attic, and to work from 
morning to night, and from night till morning sometimes. But, thank 
heaven, I have a sure foot, gopd eye, and am a capital hunter. 

" You touchingly remark that you are rich, and would rather sacri- 
fice wealth for happiness. I do not clearly see how I can complain of 
being poor. How funny you are ! you dine at a polished board, off 
gilded plates, and goodly fare. One would think from your way of 
putting it, that by stinting one's self of food, one gets what riches cannot 



ADVENTURES OF A FRENCH CAT. 285 

buy. Some wise cat will no doubt prove before long, that poverty is 
the cure for all evils. Seriously, do you believe that fortune impairs 
happiness"? If that is your creed, become poor at once, ruin yourself ! 
Nothing is easier than that, live by your teeth if you can. Tell me 
what you think of it. Complain of being unhappy, but not of being 
rich, for we who are poor are no strangers to misery. I scold you as 
your elder sister ought to do, so forgive me. 

"Do you not know that Bebe* would only be too happy to be of 
some use to you ? Do not keep me waiting for another letter. I begin 
to fear you have been seeking happiness where it can never be found. 
Of course you will hide nothing from me. Ease your heart and write 
down your griefs on your perfumed paper, as you proposed. Adieu, 
Minette, adieu ! This is enough, it is the hour for our mother's meal, 
and it is yet running about in the loft. Things are not going on well 
there, the mice are clever, and every day seems to develop new instincts 
of cunning. We have feasted so long on them, they begin to notice it. 
My neighbour is a cat, not a bad specimen, were he not so original. 
He dotes on the mice, and pretends that some day there will be 
a revolution when mice will be able to hold their own against 
cats. 

" You see I am right in profiting by the peace we now enjoy, hunt- 
ing at will in their grounds. But do not let us talk politics ! 

" Adieu, Minette. 

" Your messenger is waiting. He refuses to disclose your address. 
Shall we soon meet each other ? 

" Your sister till death, 



" P.S. I own your old courier is very ugly. For all that, when I 
saw what he brought, I kissed him with all my heart. You should 
have seen him bow when he presented the letter from Madam Rosa 
Mika. Were you out of your mind Minette when you adopted such a 
name ? Was Minette not a charming name for a cat so white as your- 
self? As I have no more paper, I conclude." 

A Starling had the misfortune of upsetting a bottle of ink over 
Minette's reply to B^be", so that several pages of the letter are illegible. 
The loss of these passages, however, does not interfere with the 
narrative. The missing matter is indicated by dotted lines. 



286 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



MINETTE TO 

THIRD LETTER. 



. ..." Do you remember the doll given to us by our mistress, 
which soon became a subject of discord. How you used to scratch me. 
Oh dear ! I almost feel my back bleeding when I think of it. How I 
used to complain of you to my mother when you so persistently called 




me a story-teller, but I got no satisfaction. It is from this point, this 
little wrong, that all my miseries sprang 1 Indignant at repeated 
miscarriages of justice, I resolved to fly from you and seek a happier 
home. Ascending to the roof, the heaven of cats, I viewed the distant 
horizon, and determined to wander to its furthest limit. The prospect 



ADVENTURES OF A FRENCH CAT. 



287 




288 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

for a kitten so young was not tempting. I foresaw many dangers to 
which I would be exposed in making my way into strange lands. I 
remember .... I seemed to hear choirs of voices in the air 

" ' Do not cry, Minette,' whispered a voice no doubt that of my evil 
genius l the hour of your deliverance approaches. This humble dwell- 
ing is an unworthy shelter for one born by nature to adorn the halls of 
a palace ! ' 

" l Alas/ replied a voice softer and more musical that of my con- 
science * You mock me, sir, I am a lowly maiden, a palace is no place 
for me ! ' 

" ' Beauty is queen of the world,' continued the first. ' You are 
extremely beautiful, therefore you are queen ! What robe is whiter, 
what eyes brighter than yours ! ' 

" ' Think of your mother,' said the pleading voice. ' Can you forget 
her ? Can you forget your sister B^be 1 ' 

" ' Beb makes you her slave, and your mother does not love you. 
You are a child of misfortune. You have been reared by chance. 
Chance is your foster-mother. You are alone indebted to chance. 
Come, Minette, come, the world is before you. Here is misery and 
obscurity, yonder, riches and fame ! ' 

" My good angel in vain tried to picture a future of darkness and 
despair. The love of finery took possession of my heart and sealed 
my doom ! 

" The voice became more and more irresistible, and I blindly 
followed its commands. 

" I had fallen into a faint, but when I became conscious, judge my 
surprise to find that my charmer was no illusion. Before me stood a 
young cat gazing tenderly down on me. 

" Ah, Be"be", he was handsome ! and his eyes sparkled with the flame 
of kindling love. He was the ideal cat of whom we sing when gazing 
on the moon veiled by the city smoke. At last, in a high-pitched 
rapturous voice, he exclaimed, 'Divine Minette, I adore thee.' I /elt 
my tail expand at his audacity, but my heart expanded as if in unison, 
for I already felt that he was mine. Soon he settled down, his gaze 
riveted upon my face. You ought to have seen how humbly he begged 
for a single glance from me. How could I refuse his request, he who, 
perhaps, had rescued me from the terrible death of a fall from the 
tiles. 

"If you had only heard his eloquence, Be"be. I confess I felt 



ADVENTURES OF A FRENCH CAT. 289 

flattered and puffed up with pride, and saw myself prospectively 
arrayed in all the finery he promised to lay at my feet ; lace, collars, 
jewels, and a superb ermine muff. This last gift brought me into great 
trouble. 

" I was naturally indolent he pictured to me a life of ease, with its 
soft carpets, velvet and brocade cushions, arm-chairs, sofas, and all 
sorts of fine furniture. He assured me that his mistress an ambas- 
sador's wife would be delighted to receive me whenever I cared to 
visit her, and that all the collection which made her apartments a 
magazine of curiosities was at my disposal. 

" Oh, it was delightful to dream of being waited on so ; I would have 
a maid, and my noble mistress would serve me. 

" ' We are called domestic animals,' he said, why, it is impossible to 
say. What position do we fill in a house 1 Whom do we serve and 
who serves us, if not our masters ? He assured me I was simply per- 
fect, in tones so musical, that I heard the old landlady below screaming 
with delight. I said I felt lonely, and he &wore eternal fidelity Oh ! 
how he did swear and promised a life of cloudless joy. In a word I 
was to become his wife, and the ambassador's titled cat. 

" What more need I add. I followed him and thus became Madame 
de Brisquet. 

FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME. 

FOURTH LETTER. 

" Yes, Beb, Madam de Brisquet. 

" Pity me, Bebe, when I write this name it seems to me to contain 
the whole story of my misery, condensed and sublimated, yet I have 
imagined myself happy in the possession of wealth, honour, and his 
affection. Our entrance into the hotel was a real triumph, even the 
ambassador opened his window to receive us. The lady pronounced 
me the most beautiful creature she had ever seen, and after exhaust- 
ing her store of agreeable flatteries, she rang for her people, told them 
all to respect me, and committed me to the care of her lady-in- 
waiting. I was at once named the queen of cats, the fashionable 
ln'.iiity, by all the most renowned Angoras in Paris. My husband was 
proud of my success, and I looked forward to a lifetime of happiness. 

" Bebe", when I recall all this, I often ask myself how it is I have 
any heart left. 

I 



290 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

" My honeymoon lasted fifteen days, after which I discovered that 
Brisquet had no real love for me. In vain were his assurances that his 
affection had not changed I was not to be deceived. But love desires 
what is impossible, and is after all satisfied with very little. Even 
when all tokens of affection were at an end, I felt I still loved him, and 
would not believe that love so sincere awakened no kindred flame in 
his heart. 

"Remember this, Bebe, there is nothing more transient than the love 
of cats. Far from being pleased at my constancy, Brisquet became 
impatient with me. 

"'I cannot understand/ he exclaimed angrily, 'why love, the most 
gay and agreeable pastime of youth, should become the most serious, 
absurd, and bothering business of our maturer years.' 

" I abandoned my mother and sister, because I loved you ! I, I 

wept ! 

" My grief only hardened his heart, he became cruel, even brutal, and 
I, who had rebelled .against my poor mother's neglect, bent under his 
oppression, and waited, hoping for brighter days. But time is a piti- 
less monster, and te'aches us many a hard lesson we would rather not 
learn. Time may also be likened to a good physician, who, after many 
days heals the deepest wounds. I became calm, feeling that the last 
ember of my unrequited love had been rudely stamped out ; and I for- 
gave him. 

" Brisquet was one of those who love themselves better than all the 
world, and who are easily elated by anything that flatters their vanity. 
He was a true disciple of the school of gallantry, whose doctrines are 
framed to please, without the troublesome sentiment of love. Their 
hearts have two doors which open almost simultaneously, the one to 
let you in, the other to kick you out. Naturally, Brisquet while ceasing 
to care for me, had found another dupe. Fortune had furnished a 
singular rival, a Chinese creature from the province of Peichihli, who, 
soon after she had landed, set all the cats in Paris in a ferment. This 
gay intriguer had been imported by the manager of a theatre, who 
wisely foresaw that a Chinese cat would create a tremendous sensation 
among the Parisians. 

" The novelty of this last conquest pricked the self-love of Brisquet, 
while the drooping ears of the foreigner did the rest. Not long after 
he announced his intention of leaving me. 

" ' I found you poor, I leave you rich. You were despairing and 



ADVENTURES OF A FRENCH CAT. 291 

knew nothing of the world, now, your instinct has been sharpened 
by experience. You owe all to me ; thank me, and let me go.' 

" ' Go,' 1 said, ' I ought never to have loved you,' and he left me. 

" His departure lifted a load from my heart. 1 no longer cared for 
him. O Bbe, if I could only have forgotten all, and become a 
kitten again. 

" It was about the time of Brisquet's disappearance that I renounced 
the world, and refused to quit my apartments. Under the able tuition 
of my mistress, I soon perceived that there was more probability in 
the fable of the cat transformed into a woman, than one would suppose. 
In order, therefore, to wile away the time, I took to the study of human 
nature from our point of view. I resolved to put together my obser- 
vations in the form of a little treatise, entitled, 'History of a Woman, 
as a Caution to Cats ; by a Yotary of Fashion.' 

" Should I find an editor, this important work will soon see the 
light. Bebe, I have no heart to write more. Oh, that I had, like you, 
remained poor, and never known the pain of luxurious misery. Bebe, 
I have decided to return to the loft to rejoin you and my dear mother, 
who, perhaps, after some time may know me .again. Do not deter me, 
I will work, I will forget all the pomp and vanity of riches. Adieu ! I 
hope to leave for home to-morrow." 

BtfBE TO MINETTE. 

FIFTH LF.TTER. 

"As I have just received and perused your long, sad letter, I can 
only say, that I am ready to welcome you home. Your story was read 
through a mist of tears. Although, as I say, I am ready to receive you, 
for your own sake, I entreat you to remain where you are. Think well 
before plunging into poverty, and exchanging the sentimental misery of 
your position for the real woes of want. Remain where you are, for 
beneath the richly-laden boards of the great, you can never feel privation. 
You can never feel the savage instinct that causes your poor relations 
at home to fight for the foulest refuse. 

" Mark well my words, Minette. There is only one overwhelming 
type of misery in the world, and that is, born of poverty. I need say 
nothing to prove that our lot is a sad one. The masons have just left 
the loft, where they stopped up every mouse-hole, and transformed our 
happy hunting-grounds into howling wastes of bare timber and plaster. 



292 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



My mother, who knows nothing of all this, is dying for a meal. I have 
nothing to give her, and I have tasted nothing for days. BEBE." 

" P.S. I was begging the privilege of hunting in the neighbours' 
preserves, and have been driven from their roofs and spouts. Keep 
your sorrows, you have leisure to weep over them, and over the sad lot 
of your poor sister and mother. 

" It is said no one dies of hunger in Paris we shall see ! " 

FROM BEBE TO MINETTE. 

SIXTH LETTER, 

" We are saved ! a generous cat has come to our aid. Ah, Minette, 
how joyous it is to come to life again ! BEBE\" 

FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME. 

SEVENTH LETTER. 

" You do not reply, Minette. What is the reason ? Ought I to 
excuse you 1 I have great news, I am going to be married. I have 
consented to wed our deliverer. He is elderly and fat, but very good. 
I feel certain you will approve of the step. His name is Pompon, a 
nice name which suits him well. It is, besides, a good match, he is a 
well-fed cat. You see my education has led me to view this union in 
a plain practical way. Write soon,, lazy one ! BEBE." 

FROM MINETTE TO B^BE. 
EIGHTH LETTER (written in pencil). 

" While I write to you, Bebe, my maid the one kept for me by my 
mistress is engaged in making a linen bag, when finished I will be 
thrust into it, it will be sewn up, and I shall be carried off by the foot- 
man and thrown into the river. 

" This is to be my fate. 

" Do you know why, Be"be". It is because I am sick, and my mistress, 
who has the most superfine feelings, dreads the sight of suffering and 
death. * Poor Rosa Mika,' she said, ' how she is changed ! ' and in a 
sad voice gave the fatal order, ' Be sure to drown her well, do not 
have her suffer pain.' 



ADVENTURES OF A FRENCH CAT. 293 

" Ah, Bebe, what do you say now ? Do you still envy my miseries 'I 
My illness prevented me from writing. Adieu. 

" Bebe, in a few minutes all will be over. MINETTE." 

You know the history of my married life, would you wish me to 
begin again ? 

As for Be"be, her lot in life was a happy one, only marred by the 
death of her mother, who expired in her arms while blessing her 
daughter. 

Pompon proved a devoted husband and father, for Bebe soon became 
the mother of a numerous family of little Pompons and Minettes. 



EPJLQQUE. 

CHIEF EDITOR'S. 



" WE are happy to say that poor Minette is not dead, a telegram has 
just been handed to us intimating that she escaped as if by a miracle 
the sad end which menaced her.. 

" Both mistress and maid died suddenly before the fatal bag was 
finished. Their death is an event most unaccountable,, unless it was 
brought about to meet the exigency of this romantic tale; Minette, 
by means best known to- the author of this faithful history, soon 
recovered, and was restored to her sister,, with whom she lived happily 
for many years, enjoying neither riches nor poverty. Minette's tran- 
quillity was broken for a time by the news that Brisquet had first 
associated himself with a desperate gang of nocturnal serenaders, and 
ended his midnight exploits and his life by falling from a roof into the 
street. Be"be" seeing Minette a lonely widow,, was filled with compas- 
sion, and tried to persuade her to wed one of the friends of Pompon. 
All her efforts were vain. Minette remained unmoved, saying, * One 
only loves once. There are those for whom I might die, but with whom 
I must refuse to live. Besides, my resolution is taken I shall end my 
days in widowhood.' " 



ADVENTURES OF A FRENCH CAT. 



295 




THE FATAL FALL. 



CELEBRATED TRIALS. 




AM an old Crow, a member of the 
Bar of the animal kingdom. At the 
urgent request of my friends and a 
wide circle of admirers, and owing to 
the shortcomings of law reporters, I 
have resolved to set before you a 
succinct account of the last assizes. 
They created a great sensation ; it could 
hardly be otherwise, since the happy 
thought had suggested itself of select- 
ing most of the judges and jurymen 
from members of my own tribe, and 
these, by their grave solemnity of countenance, and by their black 
attire, presented an imposing spectacle to the crowd, for it was but 
natural to infer that creatures so skilled in ransacking dead bodies 
would be peculiarly apt in drawing conclusions as to the moral decom- 
position of prisoners. 

A Stork was appointed President, his cold-blooded patience and 
stolidity rendering him not unworthy of that honour. Perched motion- 
less on his chair with his eyes half shut, his breast puffed out, his head 
thrown back, he carefully watched for any contradictory statements 
made by the accused, and looked as if in ambush on the borders of 
some swamp. The post of Attorney-General had fallen to a wry- 
necked Vulture. This personage, if he ever possessed any sensibility, 
had long forgotten its influence. Ardent and pitiless, his only thought 
was to obtain success, or in other words conviction ; his claws and 
beak were ever ready to attack but never to defend. The court of 
assizes was a field of battle, and the prisoner a foe who must be sub- 
dued at any price. He proceeded to a criminal trial like a soldier to 
an assault, throwing himself into the case like a gladiator into the 
arena. In short, the Vulture makes an admirable Attorney-General. 



CELEBRATED TRIALS. 



297 



The inhabitants of the holes, nests, copses, molehills, and neighbour- 




ing marshes flocked in crowds to attend these judicial ceremonies, 
while Geese, Bitterns, Buzzards, and Magpies swelled the throng. 



298 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

This is the way of the world. Seats were reserved for the representa- 
tives of the press Ducks and Parrots most of them. With what 
eagerness these gentry hurried to their places ! A reporter pounces 
upon a horrible trial as if it were his lawful prey. When such an 
occasion presents itself, the regular staff find themselves no longer 
obliged to task their imaginations, to cudgel their well-worn brains. 
Copy is supplied to them ready-made, needing no fresh spice to suit 
the public taste, but rather abounding in dramatic incidents, such 
as the journalists could never have invented themselves; so the 
editor can proudly cry out to his printer, " Strike off 10,000 addi- 
tional sheets ! " 

It is needless to describe in detail the whole business of the session. 
We will set aside the proceedings against a jolly Dog, who in a moment 
of excitement bit the tail off a rival in front of a tavern ; against a 
Peacock for assuming an aristocratic title not his own, a Magpie for 
theft, a Cat for unlawful trespass on private tiles, a French Cock for 
stirring up hatred against the constituted government, a Fox for fraudu- 
lent bankruptcy. We will content ourselves by noticing the two lead- 
ing trials, saying with a Eat of our acquaintance, who had gnawed his 
knowledge out of a book-worm's library, Musa mehi causus memora. 

In a recent issue of " The Microcosm," a journal much .patronised by 
the Ducks, one might have read the following words : 

" A crime has just been committed of a nature so diabolical as to 
rouse the indignation of the whole country. It is deeply to be regretted 
that at the moment when the confederated animals had sworn to 
maintain eternal friendship and peace, a Toad should be found foully 
poisoned in a field. Justice is making investigation ; she investigated 
to such good purpose that two Sheep, three Snails, and four Lizards, 
all equally guiltless, were arrested on suspicion,, and not released until 
they had been detained for ninety days in precautionary imprisonment. 
May Providence protect you, my friends, from having any idle charge 
ever laid at your doors. The first thing to be done will be to lock you 
up in a cell ; there you will be detained in custody, that you may be 
interrogated, and even cross-questioned, about family antecedents and 
occupation, your mode of spending your leisure, and how you have 
been employed on certain days, at certain hours, for some months 
past. After it has been duly established that you are innocent, you 
will be politely requested to go back to your domicile. During all this 
time your affairs have languished and fallen into disorder, creditors 



CELEBRATED TRIALS. 299 

have become furious, debtors have flown, your family has been injured, 
and calumnies of all sorts have been kindly set afloat concerning you, 
for we may always find plenty of animals who will say, ' Where there's 
smoke there must be fire.' " 

Those who were arrested on suspicion in this instance were found to 
exhibit no traces of guilt. The inquiry was pushed with the greatest 
energy and activity under the direction of a pair of Tortoises, but the 
longer their examination continued, the more profound became the 
darkness and mystery which shrouded the Toad's death. At last a 
Mole came tumbling up from under his hill, and stated that he had 
seen an enormous Viper monstrum horrendum, as my friend the Rat 
would say darting at the Toad. When brought face to face with the 
remains of the deceased, he swore positively to its identity. The Bull- 
dogs were instantly despatched in search of the Viper, and falling 
valiantly upon him during his aleep, brought him before the judges. 

The court is opened; the indictment is iead> the Ant, a distinguished 
analyst, who- had been ordered to examine the contents of the stomach, 
proceeds to read his analysis marked attention. 

" Gentlemen,, our duty has been to examine the body and intestines 
of the unfortunate Toad r and to ascertain beyond doubt whether they 
contained traces of the poisonous matter distilled in the fangs of the 
Viper, called ,by the learned Fiperirum* 

"This substance, combined with diverse oxides, acids, and simple 
bodies, forms variously Flpercvtes, Viperites, or Piperures. 

" We have analysed, with the greatest care, the stomach, the liver, 
the lungs, and the encephalic mass of the victim, using a variety of 
reagents pilfered from, a homoeopathic chemist who carried his medi- 
cine-chest in his pocket. After heating and evaporating to dryness 
the pancreatic juice and other substances contained in the stomach, we 
obtained a sweet solid body, which we treated with two milligrammes 
of distilled water ; by placing the whole in a glass retort, and submitting 
it to ebullition for two hours and twenty-five minutes, we obtained no 
result. But this same substance treated successively with acetates, sul- 
phates, nitrates, prussiates, and chlorates, yielded a liquid of a blue 
apple green colour which, when combined with certain powerful re- 
agents, deposited a powder of an indefinite but most characteristic 
colour. This powder can be nothing but Viperium in its pure state." 

Such a lucid and conclusive report deeply impressed the audience. 



300 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

This trial; which ended in the conviction of the Viper, would doubt- 
less have excited greater interest had not public attention been drawn 
away by important political matters, and by the account of a still 
greater trial which took place about the same time. 

The announcement of this aifair appeared in the page of " The 
Microcosm " consecrated to the horrible, headed, as usual, " Another 
dreadful Tragedy." 

" A Ewe and her Lamb, setting a noble example to other domesticated 
animals, had escaped from their fold. Both were at once placed under 
the special protection of the Free Confederation of Animals, in spite of 
which they have been basely murdered. 

" A wolf, believed by all to be the true assassin, has been arrested, 
thanks to the zeal and energy of the commander of the Bulldogs." 

The point of importance was to ascertain how the Sheep came by its 
death. Accordingly, to place this question beyond doubt, a Turkey was 
appointed to hold a post-mortem examination. Now this Turkey was 
among the most learned of birds. He had won a title by Jiis marvellous 
skill, and had gained a well-deserved reputation by researches un- 
happily inconclusive into that important problem Quare opium facit 
dormire. 

This eminent practitioner stated that the Sheep had certainly not 
succumbed to an attack of cholera as some had falsely reported, but 
from a wound six inches in length having been made in her neck, nearly 
severing the head from the trunk. 

The trial was impatiently awaited, and at last came on for hearing. 
From break of day an immense multitude besieged the entrance to the 
court, but the authorities had taken measures to prevent disorder. At 
ten o'clock the accused is brought in ; he looks pale, his dark eyes have 
lost their lustre, his attire though decent has nothing recherche about 
it One can scarcely make out his features, which seem to shun the 
curious gaze of the public. An old Crow, who out of twenty applicants 
obtained the honour of defending the prisoner, was in his place in his 
professional robes prepared to enter upon his task. At length the 
examination commenced. 

Q. " Prisoner, stand up ! Your name and surname 1 " 

Ans. "Canis Lupus." 

Q. "Your age?" 

Ans. "Twelve years." 



CELEBRATED TRIALS. 301 



Q. " Your profession 1" 
Am. "Botanist." 
Q. " Your dwelling ?" 
^?i5. "The woods." 

"The charges against you, Canis Lupus, will be read over." 
The indictment was read amid profound silence, after which the 
presiding judge resumed examination of the prisoner. 

Q. " Canis Lupus, what have you to say in your defence 1 " 
Ans. " I am innocent of the crime laid to my charge. I own, my lord, 
for a long time I was accustomed to destroy Sheep, but in so doing 
I consulted less my inclination than my hatred for man. If the death 
of a Sheep or Lamb gave me pleasure, it was simply because I knew that 
I thus carried off from my oppressors a portion of their daily food. 

" For some time past I have looked upon Sheep with the tenderest 
solicitude, without in any way permitting this sentiment to interfere 
with my hatred for mankind. Picture my horror, my indignation, 
when a few days back I beheld the innocents of whose death I am 
accused, pursued by a butcher who struck them down without pity. 
I flew to their aid, the infamous executioner taking to his heels in 
terror. Just at that moment when I was preparing to bind up the 
wounds, the officers of the court apprehended me as if I were a vulgar 
assassin ! Hereafter I propose to sue for false imprisonment and 
damages." 

The prisoner resumed his seat, placing his paw on his eyes. His 
address awakened the sympathies of the audience, especially of the 
fair sex. 

" How well he spoke ! " said a Crane. 

>k What wonderful grace and eloquence!" exclaimed a speckled 
Magpie. 

" It is a thousand pities that a youth so handsome should be con- 
demned," said a Woodcock, sighing, " Ah me ! ah me ! " 

It would almost seem that in order to please some ladies one must 
IM- a villain, but if one wishes to touch their hearts, hypocrisy must be 
called in to add attractiveness to crime. Let us, however, return to our 
mutton. 

The judge replied 

" Prisoner, your version of the occurrence is full of contradictions and 
must be set aside as utterly false. It is opposed to the sworn testimony 
of the witnesses we are about to examine. Let us assure you, once for 



3 02 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

all, you will never be able to persuade your fellow-brutes that you 
are capable of one spark of generosity. Your antecedents are de- 
plorable." 

Prisoner. " Alas ! I have always been the victim of calumny.'' 

" You appear to have been reared in a hotbed of crime. At two years 
old you bit the mother who nursed you." 

Prisoner. " She bit me first." 

"Later in life you fell a-quarrelling with one of your neighbours and 
called him a Toad ! " 

Prisoner. " He had called me an Alligator." 

"Three years ago you were seen prowling round the royal rabbit 
warren, a place which no animal of your species is permitted to 
enter." 

Prisoner. " My lord, I never set foot inside it." 

" Perhaps not, but you intended to get in there, and to create a 
disturbance inside. The gentlemen of the jury will know how to take 
all these circumstances into account." 

The hearing of the witnesses followed, the Wolf cross-examining each 
with great ability calm with some, ardent, jocular, or sarcastic with 
others, always ready with a reply to any damaging statement. Little 
by little, nevertheless, his strength failed him ; to the strain of over- 
excitement there succeeded a sudden prostration, and at last he fainted 
away. 

The trial had to be adjourned till the following week. For some 
days the Wolf was too feeble to appear. Never has an illustrious 
animal, the head of a family or a prince adored by his people as 
official proclamations assure us excited so keen a public interest 
during sickness as did this unlucky Wolf. The habitues of the court 
feared lest a sensational prosecution should be lost to them. The judge's 
heart bled lest this important and popular trial should come to an end, 
depriving him of the opportunity of summing up, and so dealing with the 
evidence as to present to the jury the distorted form of justice seen 
through the illusive medium of the law. The executioner, his keen 
blade athirst for a victim, trembled lest it should be robbed of its proper 
prey. The Vulture general dreaded lest his eloquent speech should 
have to be shelved, again undelivered a speech that had cost him 
three weeks of close study. 

Every morning the press published a bulletin of the Wolfs con- 
dition. 



CELEBRATED TRIALS. 303 

" The accused suffers dreadfully, and is closely confined to bed. He 
has always a number of Leeches near him; nevertheless he seems 
calm and resigned." 

" The prisoner had a bad night. Several Geese of the aristocracy 
have sent to the prison to inquire after his health." 

" The accused recovers slowly, he devotes his hours of convalescence 
to reading and writing. The chief subject of his study is the 
* Proverbial Philosophy of Martin Tupper.' He has used during his 
captivity two thousand nine hundred and twenty-one sheets of paper. 
He is composing a drama in seventeen acts, entitled ' Virtue's Triumph,' 
also a philosophical treatise on the desirability of abolishing capital 
punishment." 

The following verses were penned by the prisoner, and will doubtless 
be read with the interest they deserve : 



" Ah, hapless is the prisoner's fate in couvict cell condemned to pine, 
While birds abroad their songs uplift, and fields in summer's glory shine. 
If breeze-borne from the far-off flock, the fitful tinkling bells are heard, 
If corn-fields wave their nodding ears, by wanton zephyrs lightly stirred, 
All these the wretch's sorrows swell, he scents but may not see the flowers, 
Aud darker grows the lonely gloom which broods o'er all his friendless hours. 

II. 

" Soft coos the plaintive dove, the waves in whispering throbs their music pour, 
Each after each in cadence breaks, and dies in rippling on the shore ; 
The woods and winds their voices blend, no heed the cheerless captive pays ; 
No joy to him the sunbeam brings, which o'er the smiling meadow plays. 
Unhappy outcast ! not for thee does universal gladness reign, 
These joys were all in mockery sent to wring thy breast with deadlier pain. 

III. 

" The world outside, the busy world, its dear familiar rounds may tread, 
But vain are dreams of pleasant life, when life's long-lingering hope has fled. 
Then, prisoner, cease to shake thy bars : no mercy cold mute iron shows ; 
In torments, terrors, threats, and tears, thy few remaining days must close. 
Thy doom is sealed ; the gaolers stern may never more their grip relax, 
Until the headsman comes to claim thee for his hungry axe." 

I avow, ye gentlemen of the press, that the sort of enthusiasm of 
which this miserable Wolf became the object, inspired me with sad 
reflections. I have heard of unfortunate Nightingales, who for long years 
together have poured forth the most sublime songs without ever rising 



304 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

from obscurity, or obtaining a wider fame than that embraced in their 
native woodland shade, and yet this Wolf, because he has committed a 
foul crime, saw his clumsy doggerel rapturously applauded. I know of 
some good animals who, though they have proved themselves heroes of 
virtue, have never got a single line from the public press. Nevertheless 
the minutest sayings and doings of this condemned wretch have been 
chronicled to please the public craving. Mammas who would have 
thought twice before placing the fables of Florian in the hands of their 
daughters mammas strict even in the choice of their own reading, 
have in the family circle freely discussed details which initiated their 
children into all the refinements of crime and depravity. Without 
ignoring evil, could not the reports of crime be so framed as to avoid 
the ghastly pomp and morbid parade with which they appear in the 
newspapers 1 

If an editor were to confine himself exclusively to the relation of good 
actions, he would frequently have to supply blank sheets to his readers. 

As soon as the prisoner was able to appear at the bar, the proceed- 
ings began anew, and continued eight days. Twenty-eight witnesses 
were heard for and against the Wolf, while judges, jurymen, counsel, and 
defendants poured out their questions, interruptions, and observations 
in a never-ceasing flood. The result was that the whole affair, clear 
and simple as it had been at first, became gradually so confused as to 
be almost incomprehensible. 

Most lawsuits are like the water of a fountain the more it is stirred 
up, the muddier it grows. 

The prisoner had used so many subterfuges to rivet attention, he 
became so thoroughly the lion of the day, that a profound feeling of 
sympathetic emotion prevailed when the Vulture delivered himself of 
the concluding speech for the prosecution. 

" Gentlemen of the jury," he said, " before I enter upon the details 
already submitted to your intelligent consideration, my duty commands 
me imperiously to put to you a question as grave as it is important. I 
ask you with feelings of the deepest grief and bitterest pain I ask you, 
what is society coming to ? In truth, gentlemen, turn where we will, 
look in which direction we may, we discover nothing but disorder 
disorder, gentlemen, among quadrupeds, among bipeds, among geese, 
though they may use but one leg at a time. What we see is neither 
more nor less than symptoms of disorganisation, from bottom to top, 
from root to core. Yes, gentlemen, the social fabric is being under- 



CELEBRATED TRIALS. 305 

mined, the social body is corrupting ; it totters to its fall, and fall it 
will, gentlemen, unless you are able to rear up a barrier which shall 
arrest its dreadful downward progress towards moral dissolution." 

The orator proceeded to view the crime in every possible light, 
showing how such atrocities were committed in ancient times, how they 
might be committed at any time by anybody, and how the guilt of this 
particular crime had been clearly brought home to the prisoner. 

The counsel for the defence replied in an effective series of vigorous 
croaks, having first declared that in his opinion the finest spectacle on 
earth was that of innocence overtaken by misfortune. 

At half-past twelve the jurors retired to a silent copse to deliberate, 
and soon returning, found the culprit guilty on all the charges of the 
indictment. 

The judge touchingly inquired of the felon whether he had any 
objection to the sentence of death being passed upon him, to which the 
prisoner replied with a feeble grin. 

" The Wolf is condemned to be hanged," 

The immense crowd remained gloomy and speechless, not a word, not 
even a bleat disturbed the scene, not a tail gave an involuntary wag. 
One would have imagined, when viewing all eyes bent on the Wolf, and 
all beaks hushed and dumb, that the assembly had been suddenly 
turned to stone, or that an electric shock had struck them all motionless 
for ever. 

Tin Wolf was hanged this morning, gentlemen, and some zoophytes 
took good care to avail themselves of the opportunity for a demonstra- 
tion in favour of the abolition of capital punishment. I confess that 
their arguments have little effect on me. I cannot conceive why 
they made so much fuss to save a wretch .who destroyed his brother. 
It is to punish him more severely, they say, that they would per- 
mit him to live ! How they deceive themselves ! The convict 
always cherishes the consoling hope of being one day able to escape. 
It may be he will settle down contentedly to the undisturbed round of 
prison life. From a wretched outcast who gained a precarious subsist- 
ence by crime, he comes to take pleasure in his banishment. The 
burden of care has been lifted from his back His wants are provided 
for by the State, and he need no longer dread the horrors of dying from 
hunger. The punishment inflicted has given him at last a recognised 
position in society. 

If the penalty of death is to cease to be carried into effect, the nations 

U 



306 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

of Europe, and the world at large, must commence by the abolition of 
war, for on the field of battle thousands of innocent lives are sacrificed 
as the penalty of the guilt or misgovernment of a single individual. 

Let kings and emperors so raise the moral tone of their statesmen 
and subjects as to enable them practically to carry out the Divine 
command, "Thou shalt not kill." 

Twenty-two different portraits of the Wolf were issued, no one of them 
resembling another, yet all guaranteed likenesses. 




The complete account of the trial, drawn up by a clever shorthand 
writer, was sold by thousands. The memory of the Wolf was also 
enshrined in verse and recited in the streets. 



Give ear, Jays, Hawks, and Magpies, 
Attend, all Kites and Crows, 



CELEBRATED TRIALS. 307 



A story we shall now unfold 
More black than ye suppose. 

II. 

" The story of a guilty deed, 
For harpies vile befitted, 
Which cunning Wolf with crafty tongue 
And keen-edged tooth committed. 



" A tender Lamb one joyous morn 

Beside its mother played, 
The Wolf came creeping up 
And friendliest greeting made. 

IV. 
" The Ewe responsive welcome gave, 

The Wolf lay down to sleep, 
But soon he started up again 
And slew that trustful Sheep. 



" ' Help, mother dear ! ' the Lambkin cried, 

But oh ! its cry was vain, 
With cruel fangs the unsparing Wolf 
Straight clove its neck in twain. 

VI. 

" But never while misdeeds abound 

Shall wakeful vengeance fail, 
Two Watch-Dogs bold, who guard the fold. 
That guilty Wolf assail. 

VII. 

" ' Now, comrades,' cries the wily Wolf, 

* Some healing balm obtain, 

In yonder cave 'tis stored; ' but soon 
He found such tricks were vain . 

VIII. 
'* For up and spake each trusty Hound, 

* Thou felon Wolf, say true, 

Who bade thee slay this blameless Lamb, 
And kill its mother too? ' 

IX. 

'"I cure, not kill,' the Wolf replied, 

' Vex not a poor physician ; 
Such lies, base curs, would place my name 
In quite a false position.' 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



The Watch-Dogs drag the prisoner 'off. 

The courts his death decree, 
Now hanged in chains his body swings 

On yonder gallows-tree. 

MORAL. 

Whene'er your steps incline to stray 
Along the sinner's wicked way, 
A warning from this story take,. 

And know that truth sublime 
Each creature is a criminal 

When he commits a crime." 




THE BEAR; OR, A BETTER FROM THE 
MOUNTAIN?. 




" WHEN introduced to the world, I brought 
with me a craving for solitude, doubtless 
bestowed for some wise purpose. But in- 
stead of directing my faculties to an end 
which answered my vocation in the har- 
mony of "beings, like most gifted natures, I 
followed my own inclinations. 

"Soon after the event which brought 
me to light, a fall from a lofty tree lamed 
me for life, and contributed not a little 
to render me a prey to fits of melan- 
choly. 

" Our den was the favourite resort of 

Bears of the surrounding district. My father was a splendid hunter, 
and entertained his convives sumptuously with the produce of the 
chase. Life in those days seemed to be one endless round of dancing, 
gaiety, and feasting. As for myself, I remained a stranger to my 
father's guests, whose visits bothered me. Although the good cheer 
was not wholly distasteful, the frequent and vulgar eating, drinking, 
and roaring bouts were odious to my nature. This repugnance was 
not to be attributed to a finely-strung organisation, although modern 
philosophy points to our organisation as the source and cause of our 
positive and negative affections. 

Note. This letter was meant for private circulation only ; the young Bear from 
whom it was received thought he might venture, without offence, to divulge the 
secrets of friendship more especially as the writer had died, leaving this, among 
other manuscripts, to his care. A dead Bear is not likely to complain of ingratitude. 
ED. 



3 io PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

"My love of silence and solitude at last settled into the gloomy 
moroseness of a misunderstood Hear, which has always passed as the 
token of incomprehensible genius, or of virtue too pure for the world. 
Years of self-examination, added to a growing feeling of dissatisfaction, 
convinced me at last that pride was the parent of my brood of sickly 
imaginings, whose ghostly food was the moonbeams, and the sighing of 
the mountains, as they whispered about me to the passing wind. Before 
resipiscence, it was needful I should suffer misfortune. 

" My parents were grieved by my monomania. I had indeed deter- 
mined to leave them, and seek some' distant secluded spot in which I 
might remain undisturbed and alone. Conscience smote me in vain ; 
my project was at last confided to a friend of the family, who after I 
had left broke the news to my parents, telling them I had voluntarily 
renounced the world. Never shall I forget stealing like a thief from 
the home of my childhood. The morning mist rose over the mountain 
from the valleys in blinding masses. Soon settling into clouds, one of 
pearly whiteness, fringed with the golden light of dawn, floated like a 
curtain in front of my old home. 

"It was a glorious scene; I could dimly descry my father returning 
from the chase laden with, a store of game. Snow mantled the heights, 
and an icy wind rising with the sun shook the dark pines. The violence 
of the wind increased, the clouds were driven, torn into shreds, against 
the jagged rocks, and scattered like flames of living fire flying over the 
pine forests. The wind, after a fearful blast and deep-drawn sigh, 
paused as if to view the sport, then rising suddenly, lifted the vapour 
from the hollows, chasing it from its warm bed up the snowy steeps, 
and spreading it out in a dark veil across the sun. In the deep gloom 
the voices of a thousand fiends seemed to rise from vale and crag. The 
caverns and gorges were filled with the spirits of a gathering storm, 
shrieking and clamouring like a crowd at the gates of hell, impatient 
to be let loose to lay waste the land. At last they burst forth ; onward 
they came, guided by a sword of lightning that shivered a great rock 
close to my feet, and pierced the heart of my favourite tree. I rolled 
over in a faint of panic fear, and awoke to see the wreck of many a 
green sapling, the pathways strewn with leaves, branches, and the 
trunks of giant pines. The storm had abated, and in its track left 
angry torrents leaping from the once dry rocks, gathering force and 
roaring in brown torrents down through the chasms, to flood and wreck 



THE BEAR. 311 



the smiling plains beneath. This is not all, for a sentimental Bear is 
a great observer. 

" The sun again shone upon the scene with the brightness of hope 
to the torn breast of Nature, for every green thing took heart and 
expanded beneath its welcome rays. As for me, nothing daunted, I 
started and pursued my way until I found a spot inaccessible to every- 
thing but sweet solitude and myself. 

" During five years my only visitor was an Eagle who perched on a 
stunted tree not far off. No other living creature had ventured to 
invade my horizon. 

" My occupations were very simple. At dawn I sat on a ledge of rock 
watching sunrise. The freshness of the morning filled me with a sense 
of newness of life, and a vividness of imagination whose fruit was a 
palingenesian poem, in which I meant to express all the griefs of those 
who had raised the cup of happiness to their lips, only to find it empty 
and polluted. 

" During the day I studied the healing properties of plants, while 
my evenings were devoted to watching the stars appear one by one in 
the sky. My heart expanded when gazing on the moon and the sweet 
planet Venus, and I even at times imagined I must have had some hand 
in creating the stars and moon, in order that they might shine for my 
special benefit. Five years were passed in dreaming, after which my 
eyes opened to behold the vanity of a Bear. My illusions vanished, 
and objects appeared in their true colours. A sense of loneliness took 
hold of me, the stars lost their lustre, the flowers and grasses their 
ethereal fragrance and heavenly hues. I considered my limbs, my 
claws, my coat, and behold they were made for climbing, crawling, 
clutching, and covering my nakedness. I found I could neither climb 
to high heaven nor clutch the stars ; on the contrary, my attributes 
were practical, brutish, and earthly. These mortifying but useful dis- 
coveries compelled me to seek other scenes to return, in fact, to the 
world and rejoin my fellows. 

" Back I accordingly made my way, and, all unused to the craft of 
wise Bears, became a prey to the cunning of men. 

" I started one morning early to carry out my resolution, and had not 
proceeded far when strange sounds smote my ear, voices shouting, ' A 
Bear ! a Bear ! ! ' Pausing to listen where the sounds came from, I was 
suddenly struck and stunned by an invisible weapon which sent me 
rolling over on the ground, where I was immediately surrounded by 



312 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

four savage Dogs, followed by three more savage men. In spite of the 
pain of my wound I struggled bravely, but was at last overpowered, 
and fainted from loss of blood. 

" Upon recovering I found myself tied to a tree with a rope fastened 
to a ring in my nose. To this day I have never been able to make 
out how that solid metal ring was spirited into my nose. Verily 
the skill of man passeth the knowledge of Bears ! Homer says the 
man who has lost his liberty has lost half his soul. I had sustained 
that loss, and had gained a permanent ornament, so fixed that to regain 
my liberty I must sacrifice my snout. There was no help for it, I had 
been rudely pulled up to survey my changed position. Wherein did the 
change consist ? Sun, moon, and stars were still above me, but they had 
no longer the same interest for me ; they were simply sun, moon, stars, 
and nothing more heavenly bodies having their own affairs to look 
after, while I had mine, which proved all-absorbing. Formerly the 
beautiful in nature was my constant feast ; there it was still around me, 
but it had lost its old fascination and power of feasting the senses. 

" The truth is, I had never really renounced the world. For a time 
I was the slave of morbid fancies, and had no more given up the flesh- 
and-blood interest in life, than does the Buddhist bonze, who, while he 
courts seclusion and broods over the ethics of his creed, is careful to 
nourish and cherish the material part of his being. 

" Here I was, by a mere fluke of misfortune, brought face to face 
with my real self, a heavy-footed, full-grown, and withal sentimental 
Bear. Many days passed in a sort of stupor of despair, followed by the 
sweet inward confession of my sins, which brought resignation and a 
calm I had never before experienced. If anything could replace the loss 
of liberty, it was the repose of my new life, for my master showed me 
uniform kindness. I was commensal of his house by day, and by night 
was consigned to a stable with some other socially-disposed animals. 

" Soon after daybreak I was taken to the doorway, where, seated 
beneath a plane-tree, the hours passed pleasantly in playing with my 
master's children, who showed me much affection, while the thorough- 
fare along the highroad procured endless amusement. 

" On fete-days the rustics came to dance under the tree ; for my 
master was an innkeeper, and his house a favourite resort. 

" There the noise of jingling glasses and songs of gay spirits sounded 
from dawn to sunset. I had always a formal invitation to the dances, 
which commenced after the evening repast, and were kept up far into 



THE BEAR. 313 



the night. Usually I had the good fortune to open the ball with the 
prettiest girl of the crowd, by a dance similar to the one in vogue a 
Crete, invented for the amiable Ariadne. Since then I have been 
enabled to study the private life of men of rank, those on the' upper 
range of the social ladder, and give it as my conviction that the poor 
mountaineers have a happier lot in life than those regarded by the world 
as the highly-favoured ones. The conclusion forces itself upon me, that 
men are happy just in proportion as they are ignorant. It is sad it 
should be so, as it brings them down to the level of the beast, and 
tempts some to regard even the Bear, owing to the simplicity of his 
nature and habits, as an infinitely happier animal than man. My 
rustic life lasted six months, during which time I followed the example 
of Apollo, deprived of liis glory, guarding the flock of Admetus. 

" One day, while I was seated as usual beneath the tree, a postchaise 
drawn by four horses stopped at the door, and I learned that its 
occupant, who had the air of a travelling aristocrat, was a poet of noble 
birth and European fame, who had been voyaging in search of adven- 
ture. This personage left the carriage to take some refreshment, and 
during his stay I seemed to be the subject of a conversation which 
ended in the stranger placing some pieces of gold in the hand of my 
master, who undid my chain and consigned me to the vehicle. 

" The peaceful valley where I had spent so many happy days was 
leagues oft' before I recovered from my surprise. It is needless to 
remark that any change in my mode of life caused me much pain 
and anxiety. Believe me, dear reader, happiness is only to be found 
in the monotony of an uneventful life. 

" As the scenes of my youth faded in the distance, sorrow took pos- 
session of my heart, and at last I bade adieu to my dear mountains. I 
felt for the first time that loss of one's country is immortal, and that 
travels only produce fatigue of body and mind. Now I was enabled to 
comprehend how Calypso, arrayed in all her charms, could not tempt 
Ulysses to abandon his poor but much-loved Ithaca, or to relinquish 
the noble ambition which induced him to return and behold once more 
the smoke rising from his chimney. 

" ' Vivite felices, quibus est fortuna peracta! 
Vobis parta quies, uobis maris scquor araudum.' 

" We embarked at Bayonne on board a ship setting sail for the British 
Isles, where I afterwards passed two years with my master in a Scottish 



3H PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

castle. This gifted man was to me a most interesting study ; at once 
poet and misanthrope, his example sealed my fate for life, thoroughly 
curing me of the monomania which had forced me into seclusion. I 
had at the same time contracted a depraved habit of composing verses 
or rhymes, which I could not shake off, never fully realising that 
only a few gifted poets have been enabled to win fame by placing 
their sentiments on record. Like most half-fledged misunderstood 
poets, I suffered acutely, being no favourite either of the Muses or 
the public. Inspiration would not come, in spite of great agony 
and superbearish effort. It was in vain I lay on my back or rolled 
on my belly rhythm, rhyme, and romance proved my severest task- 
masters. I walked fast in the dark lanes of the garden, as Pope 
used to do, scaring the birds by the deep growlings that escaped my 
breast. 

" Who would believe it ? My poetic breakdown stirred the worst 
passions of my nature, and drove me to hate every successful songster 
to hate past, present, and future to hate every one and everything 
saving my own soured self. 

" Since Solomon's time many books have been written, but the book 
which shall faithfully picture the miseries of a literary life has yet to 
be penned. My master himself, with his acknowledged genius and 

inordinate I must not retail his troubles, as most worthy recipients 

of his kindness might be tempted to do. I si i all content myself, as a 
faithful servant, by merely raising the corner of the veil. The Muses 
were his true loves, to whom he was fain to prove unfaithful when he 
sought the joys of domestic life, to lay the storms of his heart in the 
haven of home. But it was all too late, the experiment failed, and he 
fled to end his accumulated woes on a foreign shore.. 

" Here was a lofty example for me, an unfortunate poetaster, proving 
as it did that poetic genius, just in proportion to its intensity, dries up 
the font of social happiness and plays fearful havoc with common sense. 

"Fortunately for me, as it gave me my liberty, whatever it may 
have done for himself, my gifted master, at the sound of the strife of 
Grecian insurrection, determined to leave England, resolved to seek a 
brilliant tomb. Some days before his departure, wishing to make a 
last appearance in London, he profited by the representation of Hamlet, 
one of his favourite plays, to show himself once more to the British 
public. We drove to the theatre in an open carriage, and found the 
place crowded as we seated ourselves in a stage-box. Our appearance 



THE BEAR. 315 



created a tremendous sensation, all eyes and eyeglasses were turned 
towards us ; the ladies, bending over the balconies, recalled lovely flowers 
peeping out from rocky clefts. All were eager to get a glimpse of the 
great poet ; so worshipful indeed was this well-dressed crowd, that the 
play was totally disregarded till the ghost of the prince stalked across 
the stage, and as a tribute to Shakespeare, the great character of the 
phantom was received with profound respect. The details of the 
tragedy appeared to be of a nature to familiarise the spectators with 
our presence, like the appropriate music which introduces and accom- 
panies the hero in, an. opera. But the ghost was too signal an evidence 
of creative genius to be lightly passed over. This wonderful perform- 
ance supplied all the metropolitan journals with a glowing leader. It 
is to these papers, for the past twenty years, we have been indebted 
for all the political, philosophical, religious, and literary achievements 
of learned Europe; 

" Next day we embarked for France, and as good-luck would have it, 
my master made a roundabout journey to visit some ruins. 

" One evening when he was seated at the foot of an old tower, I pro- 
fited by the reverie in which he was plunged to make my escape. For 
four days and nights. I fled from mountain to mountain without once 
looking behind.. At last, on the evening of the fifth day, I again found 
myself in the Pyrenees.. In an excess of joy I knelt down and 
kissed my native soil, after which I made for the cavern where I first 
breathed the air. It was inhabited by an old friend of the family, 
who told me that my parents were dead. After shedding a few tears to 
their memory, I took up my abode on Mount Perdu, and made myself 
a happy home. 

"Although I am a poet in a small way, I love my wife, and find 
my children perfect ; they are moulded very much after their father's 
image. We do not see much company, almost none, save one or two 
desperate duns, who thought so well of me as to come over here all 
the way from London to " look me up," as they say. Their excuse 
for intruding on my privacy is that they frequently pass my way, 
and it suddenly occurs to them they have each a trifling bill for Mr. 
Bear. These scraps of paper are the tender links which bind me to the 
past, and recall the licence of poetic inspiration. Happy is he who 
dwells at home, and who has never drifted into doggerel ! 

"All I now require is to be left alone to the use of my natural 
instincts, which have ripened under affliction, and to the enjoyment 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



of the attributes with which nature has endowed me. I have been 
long in discovering my true self. Now that I have found the rascal, 
I will keep watch over him, and prove to the world that my wandering 
life has not been wholly spent in pursuits of vanity. 

'* / hi 




" What more do I require 1 Does not the na'iad of the rock distil 
from the elements an exhaustless store of water to quench my thirst 1 



THE BEAR. 317 



The beloved tree of Cybele, does it not shelter my dwelling with its 
evergreen boughs r \ Above all, when the day's toil is ended and I return 
laden with the trophies of the chase, have I not a devoted partner to 
welcome me home ? 

" I have now no ambition save one, and that is to make the acquaint- 
ance of that heavenly constellation which bears our noble name." 



THE SEVENTH HEAVED 

VOYAGE ABOVE THE CLOUDS. 



CHAPTER OF DREAMS. 



WAS dead. 

Dead as one perhaps 
dies when uncertain whe- 
ther it is better to live 
or to die; dead without 
knowing when or how. 
I had indeed died pain- 
lessly, pleasantly, and 
mysteriously. 

So easily had my life 
left my body, so little 
had it suffered in quitting 
the form of clay, that at 
first my body did not perceive the change. 

Of the precise moment when from a living Turtle-dove I became a 
corpse, I remember nothing, unless it be that before death the moon 
shone brightly in a cloudless sky ; and when my astonished spirit made 
out that it had fulfilled its duty on earth, the moon had not ceased to 
shine, and the sky was still cloudless. Probably my death, far from 
quenching the light of the moon, or sending the sky into mourning, 
had made no visible change in earth or heaven. What can it matter 
to fruitful nature whether a creature like me lives or dies 1 Yet after 
all, we are assured that a Sparrow shall not fall to the ground without 
its heavenly Father. 




THE SE VENTH HE A VEN. 319 



II. 

I have no doubt my spirit rejoiced at finding itself free, since it 
could have no real love for a body so impotent to respond to its lofty 
aspirations. In truth, many times in the days of their union my poor 
flesh had been almost left alone to look after itself, while my spirit 
dreamt at ease of some peculiar mythical world. Is it not possible 
during dreams that the body is quietly left to slumber while the spirit 
roams about in ethereal realms of its own 1 First it carefully lays a 
telegraphic line from its slumbering solid dwelling on earth, and in 
an instant traverses space, sending back to the living brain flashes of 
strange intelligence from other spheres. 



in. 

Yet the spirit mourned, seeing its old tenement, whose strength and 
weakness, beauty and deformity, were all so familiar, falling into decay, 
marking the dissolution that had already set in, and would before long 
yield up the materials to the four winds of heaven and to the earth 
that supplied them. The spirit exclaimed, " Why was I thus released 
without a moment's warning ] The light has left the bright eye, nor 
will the wings respond to my wish. I cannot bear this parting ! 
Awake, mute form ! awake ! cast a loving glance across the bright 
scene ! Wake, and tell me our union was not a dream ! Alas ! then 
it must be farewell." 

IV. 

For the first time the appeal of the spirit remained unanswered. 
Why love that which must die ? Since we cannot enjoy the hope of 
eternity, let us part ! 

Of men alone it is written that their spirits after death shall at 
some future time reunite with the body, when the soul shall recognise 
and reanimate its ancient dust. Nevertheless, I have dreamt that the 
Dove shall again rise from the dead. 



V. 

The silence of night was alone disturbed by the falling leaves for 
they too must die and by the distant approach of a bird of prey. 



THE SEVENTH HE A VEN. 321 

Tender flowers, green^leaves that once sheltered my poor frame, bend 
over it now and screen its beauty from the impious Vulture. 
t /Alas! the dread sound A came nearer and yet nearer, and the deep 
.shadow of the bird of doom fell on the peaceful remains. 

VI. 

A musical voice hailed me from the air and bade me follow. Instinc- 
tively I floated upward with my spirit guide, who seemed to bear me 
on invisible wings far beyond the range of earth. 

VII. 

In a moment the past was severed from the future, all memory of 
my former being vanished. I soared through space without an effort, 
obeying my new condition implicitly, just as on earth one loves and 
thinks without knowing why one does so, or how thought and love 
have come to form so important a part of our earthly lives. 

VIII. 

I had floated away so far from the world that it seemed nothing 
more than a bright speck in an ocean of immensity. For a moment I 
recalled my loss, the body I had left behind, and exclaimed, " Shall 
the joys of my future banish regret, or is sorrow also eternal?" 

IX. 

Is there no link in heaven to bind one to what is dear on earth ? 
Has my life among mortals been a dream ? Still I was wafted upward 
and onward to a region full of stars, where I passed from one orb to 
another. Bright stars, whither am I going ? But the stars, yielding no 
response, noiselessly ranged themselves to light me on my way. 

x. 

I was floating in a realm of light. Space spread out before me like 
an azure veil studded with diamonds. But the light of the stars was 
eclipsed by a greater refulgence. Filled with awe, I paused, and the 
voice more silvery than the sweetest tones of earth whispered, 
" Follow me we shall only stop in a blissful region. You are at the 

x 



322 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

gates of paradise. Follow me and fear not, doubt not. Doubt is born 
of the devil, faith is an attribute of heaven. 

XL 

The speaker was a purified immortal, the spirit of a snow-white 
Dove that death had taken in all the beauty of its youth, unsullied by 
the sight of human misery. Its mission was to receive and guide 
liberated spirits on their way to the new world. 

/ 

XII. 

I then saw what I had not been able to perceive before, owing to 
the imperfection of my sight many disembodied spirits, each, like 
myself, floating towards some resting-place. My first sensation on find- 
ing myself in such company was fear mingled with a vague hope which 
impelled me onwards. "Sweet spirit," I said to my guide, "the 
Turtle-dove's paradise, is it far?" 

" See," he replied, smiling at my impatience " see yonder orb 
alone. There is the seventh heaven j where our arrival is awaited." 

Who can want me there ? I thought. Is it still alive ? 

XIII. 

Ascending beyond worlds and spheres without number, we alighted 
at a gate whence shone the most dazzling light, eclipsing the sun in 
brightness. Above the portal was inscribed in letters of fire, " Here 
is the abode of undying love;" and beneath, "Here is no change 
save that of ever-growing love." * The door flew open, but what can I 
say of the sight revealed to my gaze ? No words of mine can picture 
the glorious light which, without pain or strain of vision, revealed 
everything so clearly that the minutest details of the picture could be 
seen and understood. 

XIV. 

" I now leave you," said my guide, " at the threshold of your new 
home." The words still lingered in my ears when I beheld a pearly 
cloud in the sky ; it was my treasure, my Turtle-dove, winging its 
flight towards me. 

" Ah ! " I cried, " pure spirit of my sister, do I indeed behold you, my 



THE SE VENTH HE A VEN. 323 

sister 1 " She came, and our hearts were filled with a sacred joy, for she 
knew me and loved me still. 

She had not changed ; yet she seemed brighter, whiter, more beautiful, 
and as I looked, her beauty, like the beauty of a great painting, only 
increased. " Ah ! my well-beloved and long-lost sister, this is indeed a 
joyous meeting. When I heard of your death the pain preyed upon 
me, and I soon followed you, for grief broke my heart." Who dares 
to disbelieve in happiness 1 Alas ! is it not a dream 1 



XV. 

Alas ! it was a dream. . . . 

But why awake from such a dream ? This dream that had carried 
me through space and filled me with unmixed joy, had been of so short 
duration that I awoke to find nothing had changed on earth. The 
moon still shone in the clear sky. Nothing, indeed, proved real save 
the bird of prey circling through the air near my nest. 



NOTES ON THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR OF THIS CURIOUS FRAGMENT. 

We deem it our duty to place before our readers some biographical 
details concerning the author of the foregoing fragment, handed to us 
by the governor of a lunatic asylum. 

" The author of these strange imaginings was early left an orphan. 
His parents without warning, without even leaving their future address, 
left him one morning while his young beak was deep in slumber, buried 
in his callow down. Yet these good birds, owing to the gentleness and 
simplicity of their habits, left a doubtful reputation behind them, the 
only inheritance of our young hero. A sympathetic circle of friends 
agreed that they had come to an untimely end, nothing short of death 
could have caused them to abandon their child. One or two old 
Magpies there were, who, putting their heads together, whispered 
among themselves that Parisian Doves were not so good as they looked, 
and that they had purposely deserted the youngster, who interfered with 
the pursuit of their own pleasure. 

" Be that as it may, the parents were never again seen or heard of, 
and the little one struggled on wonderfully, being greatly indebted to 
the good offices of some poor but true-hearted thrifty friends. As soon 
as the orphan could leave the deserted home and trust himself to his 



324 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 




THE SE VENTH HE A VEN. 325 



wings, he commenced a search which only ended in disappointment, for 
the lost ones were nowhere to be found. For all that, day after day 
he persevered in his vain efforts, saying, ' I must find my parents, or 
perish in the attempt ! ' 

" In one of his journeys he fell in with a young Kingdove, who at once 
won his heart, first attracted by her guileless beauty and then conquered 
by her sympathy. But being an honest bird, this new sentiment in his 
breast could not tempt him from the path of duty ; on the contrary, it 
only stimulated him to greater exertion, and he winged his flight anew. 
'I will return,' he said; 'my true love will wait for me.' So he 
left, and she waited till her patience was worn out by waiting, and then 
wedded another. 

" After many days of fruitless search our Dove returned to seek his 
bride, and found her surrounded by the family of his rival. The blow 
was too much for him, it broke his heart and drove him mad. 

" Perhaps the Ringdove might have waited his return, had not his 
rival poisoned the ear of his mistress by whispering strange rumours 
about infidelity. When her first love returned she was seized with 
remorse and despair. What could she do 1 Like a sensible Ringdove, 
she continued to be a good mother, redoubling her care for her little 
ones, and doing her duty towards her husband, while her sorrows were 
buried deep in her own breast. No one knew her secret, even her most 
intimate friends, looking on her snug home, said, * How happy she must 
be ! ' The same remark is made of a great many who have never known 
what happiness is. 

''As for the poor Turtle-dove, he was perfectly harmless in his insanity, 
betaking himself constantly to the top of a mountain, where he dreamed 
away his days. That for which he had sought in vain in the solid 
realities of earth, perchance he found in dreamland, where at times 
even the wise ones of the world would like to abide. But, alas ! they 
too must awake and be recalled to the rude realities of life. 

" After his death, beneath a heap of leaves was found a manuscript 
entitled 'Memoirs of a Madman,' 'Happiness is made of Dreams.' It 
was really a poem in prose, written straight from the heart, free from 
the fetters of rhyme." 

Some feathered wits may be disposed to smile at the poor Turtle- 
dove, his misfortunes and writings. All we need say to such gaily- 
disposed critics is, that they have none of the gentle attributes of our 
loving but weak Ringdove. 



326 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



P*S, Out of consideration for those who dislike anything obscure in 
a story, we may add that the Ringdove, having reared her brood, when 
she heard of the fate of her first love, died of a broken heart. 

Practical-minded Sparrows, and other common members of the 
feathered tribe, may think that the story would have been better as a 
whole had the lovers wedded and lived happily together. All we can 
say to this, as faithful narrators, is, " Truth is stranger than fiction." 




J_<ETTERg FROM A j^WAJLJLOW TO A CANARY 
BEARED IN A CONVENT. 




THE SWALLOW'S FIRST LETTER. 

AT last, dear friend, I 
am free and flying with 
my own wings. Far 
behind me I can still 
descry the horrible 
barrier of Mount Par- 
nassus, and the equally 
dreary plateau of social 
conformity, which I 
had already crossed. 
In the air which I 
breathe, and in my 
freedom of flight, there is truly an intoxicating charm. On starting I 
cast a scornful glance on my companions, the Swallows who prefer the 
solitude and obscurity of their 'deplorable existence to all the world 
and all its joys. You may think me puffed up with vanity, one of the 
meanest of vices, when I tell you that nature never intended me to do 
the work of a builder, for which all the wretched females of our race 
seem to have an aptitude. Let them spend their youth in building, in 
polishing with beak and wing the inside and outside of their dwellings. 
Let them, I say, continue to construct their homes with as great toil as 
if the frail tenements in which they rear families were to last for ever. 
My efforts to enlighten them have been fruitless, and I leave all those to 
their fate who fail to profit by the experience contained in the following 
account of my travels. I perhaps ought to congratulate myself on having 
no travelling companion, and never being tempted wholly to give up my 
heart and independence to another. You have often told me in a tone 
of friendly severity that, constituted as I am, I could never submit to 



328 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

the guidance of another, however much, by reason of youth and inex- 
perience, I was incapable of guiding myself. For all that, I have 
followed my own course in spite of your sage advice, and I am proud 
of it. You have cursed my craving for seeing the world, which has 
carried me far from yourself and your wise counsels. It is true I 
greatly esteem your friendship and value your advice. The one has 
often lightened my sad heart, while the other, although good, has 
rarely been followed by me. I have fully understood your dread of 
adventure, but it has never influenced my pursuits. Our lives and our 
ways have nothing in common, and our meeting only shows all the 
more clearly the divergence of our courses in the world. Our thoughts 
do not harmonize, and our hopes do not point to the same end. 

You first beheld the day through the bars of a prison in which you 
must live and die a captive, and the notion that beyond these bars lie 
a boundless horizon and liberty has never entered your head. Doubt- 
less had such a thought crossed your mind, you would have crushed 
it as men are said to stifle the whisperings of the devil. 

I was brought forth beneath the roof of an old deserted house in 
the corner of a wood. The first noise that fell upon my ears was the 
wind whistling through the trees. It was a sweet sound, the very 
thought of it wakes pleasant memories. 

The first sight that met my eyes was that of my brothers poising 
themselves on the edge of the nest before flying away never to return. 
Soon I followed them. 

While I was thus beginning my career, you had reached maturity, 
and your faint warblings had ripened into rich melody. Those who 
imprisoned you gave you food, and you blessed them for it. I should 
have cursed them, my gentle friend ! When the sun shone brightly 
they placed your cage outside the window, never thinking that sun- 
stroke might cut you off. No, you were their slave, so that all seemed 
for the best from your narrow point of view. As for myself, I 
followed the life of my nomadic tribe, sharing its toils and dangers, 
and gladly submitting to the privations experienced on our journeys. 
I became strong to suffer, and so long as I had free air, I forgot that 
there was little else in my lot worth having. To crown all, you readily 
accepted the husband provided for you, and implicitly obeyed his 
slightest wishes. It was of course necessary you should obey some 
one, and perhaps as well that your master should be your husband. 
You are now surrounded by a numerous family whom you love ; you 



LETTERS FROM A SWALLOW. 329 

are a model wife and mother. My ambition does not extend so far. 
Were I surrounded by a bevy of little screamers such as yours, I should 
die. Your devoted and much-loved husband would also be a terrible 
bore. Love, alas ! has torn my poor heart so deeply during the time 
it became its temporary abode, that I have barred the door for ever 
against the foolish passion. 

I am aware of your cruel opposition to the recital of my griefs, 
and you were kind enough to attribute my fall to the slight importance 
I myself attached to the duration of a union you thought should be 
eternal. You are welcome to say whatever you like, but you need 
never hope to find the true clue to our misery in such unions. 

Society is wrongly modelled from beginning to end, and so long as 
the dry-rot of conventionality is left to destroy its foundation there 
will be no happiness for superior beings or loving spirits. Not until the 
entire structure is levelled with the ground. 

I entrust my letter to a bird of passage who will cross your 
latitude ; the postman is so impatient to continue his course that I am 
compelled to postpone the details of my journey. 



THE SWALLOW'S SECOND LETTER. 

I have striven to beguile the days of absence by relating my 
experiences as they occur en route, knowing that loving hearts find a 
charm in incidents the most simple and the most indifferent to 
strangers. The weather favours my progress, and nature is arrayed in 
her gayest attire. It seems, indeed, as if the kindly sun shone her 
brightest to cheer me on my way. 

I have made a multitude of new acquaintances, nevertheless you 
nerd neither feel jealous nor uneasy on my account. I have not the 
leisure, still less the desire, to make friends, although I am forced at 
times to halt and acknowledge courtesies, as my quality of stranger 
has opened the hearts and homes of many hospitable tribes. Notwith- 
standing the fact that pressing invitations pour in upon me, I studiously 
refuse to accept them, preferring as I do my wandering life, full of all 
that is unexpected and capricious, above the daintiest fare and the 
finest society. 

You predicted ennui and disenchantment. I still happily await the 
advent of these foes, taking my amusements when and where I find 



330 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



them. Up to the present moment these last have come unbidden to my 
door. 

This morning I breakfasted tete-ct-tete with the most accomplished 
singer I have ever heard, a Nightingale, who, willingly yielding to my 
entreaties, at the close of our repast sang some of his favourite pieces. 




It was not without a feeling of vanity that I thought of those who 
would have given anything to fill my place. All distinctions, you know, 



LETTERS FROM A SWALLO IV. 331 

are flattering, and the one which made me the sole listener to harmony 
so divine, made me more important in my own eyes. 

I was strongly impressed with the simplicity of the artist. Seeing 
him so neglige in his dress, so careless in his posture and manner, no 
one would have thought that he was a person so distinguished, at least 
I have still a strange illusion that prompts me to look for talent only 
beneath a grave and dignified exterior. I have discovered that this is 
simply an illusion, you will therefore admit I have made some progress. 

This remarkable tenor informed me that he lives for his pleasure, the 
best mode of living one can adopt ; so he said, but I doubted the sound- 
ness of the opinion, and was careful not to be led away by doctrine so 
heterodox. 

A happy and useless existence is not what I dream of, I who have the 
faculties of feeling and understanding. My desire is to add one more 
stone to the edifice which is rising up in the shade on the ruins of a 
dying civilisation. I have thought for some time of entering upon a 
literary career all my tastes lie in that direction as it would enable me 
to carry out my schemes for the regeneration of females. This question 
has absorbed my attention from my earliest youth. I can picture you 
smiling at what you call my folly and ambition, let me tell you once 
for all, you can no more conceive the pure happiness to which I aspire 
than I can accept life in your style. 

But what does it matter ; although we differ in opinion, our friend- 
ship is true, lasting, and sincere. The charming sweetness of your 
character enables you to overlook my faults and my extreme vivacity, 
and in return I hope that my deep regard helps to render your captivity 
less galling and monotonous. 

I have just left my amiable songster, and, strange as it may appear, 
without regret. My curiosity and thirst for knowledge increase daily 
since I have at last begun to see and learn. A Jay whom I met in the 
environs preceded me, and promised to warmly recommend me on her 
way. In short, I can never find space to name, far less to praise, all 
those who have received me with a fraternal welcome. Had I followed 
your timid advice, I should have been constantly on my guard against 
tokens of affection, in case they might be held out as snares to betray 
me. But when I reflect on the life you lead, I am not surprised to find 
you swayed by warped notions of the world and its winged tribes. 
You cannot form just impressions of objects seen through the bars of a 
cage, they must appear distorted and confused. It must be so. You 



332 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



have never left your retreat, and your little world is filled by five 
or six creatures, objects of affection ; all this renders it impossible for 
you to give an intelligent account of things of which you know 
absolutely nothing, or to appreciate without error what you have 
never seen. 

It is true your youth was passed in a spacious aviary, where you 
respectfully received the lessons and counsels of some old fellows reputed 
for their wisdom ; even these venerable teachers never breathed the air 
of liberty, and the sort of experience of which they were proud they 
owed solely to their great age, and not to free and independent research. 
I feel certain that I shall learn all these sages knew, and more, in a single 
journey. Before, indeed, I can venture to advocate reform in any shape 
I must travel, and read the living books in birds of every feather. I 
must study the degrading positions into which females of many so- 
called civilised lands have drifted, and find out how best to befriend 
them. My heart is filled by immense projects, and I need not disguise 
the fact that I may not see you for many days. 

Adieu, it is getting late ; I continue my journey always southwards. 

THE CANARY TO THE SWALLOW. 

Will this letter ever -reach you, my child ? It is impossible to say, 
as I am ignorant of the direction of your last flight. I scarcely venture 
to hope that one day your eyes will fall on these words of maternal 
solicitude. Yet should fortune favour me, you will find that my affec- 
tion is still unchanged, although it manifests itself in grumbling fears 
for the safety of a spirit so adventurous. 

I grieved to see you set out on your journey, nor could I conceal my 
apprehension for your safety. Unfortunately the union of our hearts 
does not extend to our ideas, accordingly I did not succeed in changing 
your plans. Far from regarding myself as infallible, I own my mistake 
in wishing only for the things attainable in my sphere of life. If this 
be an error, yours is surely a greater one the ambition which aspires 
to everything beyond your reach. The false inspiration derived from 
books has led you into a dark road, along which your tutors, believe me, 
will never follow you. Your life has become an illusion, and the more 
complete the illusion, the more terrible will the disenchantment prove. 
When the hour of awakening does come, as come it will, I tremble for 
the result. 



LETTERS FROM A SWALLOW. 333 

I know that I am a mere dotard, and you are right to complain of 
my persistency in heaping sermons upon your head. Complain if you 
will, but allow me still to preach. 

I have been told that many of our sex use their feathers for writing, 
and I perceive with regret that you are yielding to the popular mania 
with which they are possessed. For myself I seek nothing but know- 
ledge, and I should like to know what good end is served by soiling 
snow-white paper. Let us handle this subject freely. Either you have 
great talent, small talent, or no talent at all. I do not see it can be 
otherwise. If by fatality you are favoured with great talent, as are the 
males, who make laws for others and reputations for themselves, these 
very males, by reason of constitutional jealousy, will not permit you to 
rise superior to themselves. The highest fame has always been, and 
must always be, male-fame, ill begotten as it is at times. That being 
so, females are by law, and, as males say, by nature, unfitted to fill the 
loftiest posts of honour. They are essentially the potter's clay fashioned 
into humble vessels suited to adorn or to become useful in the house- 
hold, whereas the males are the marble of which monuments are 
made. 

Apart from the public life in which you are the slave of fame, you 
may wish to have a private domestic life hidden away from the world, 
to which you may betake yourself when weary of triumph and tinsel. 
"But where will you find a partner vain or humble enough to share your 
lot, to joyfully wear the ridiculous livery inflicted on him by your 
success ? Who would be the husband of a great female ? Certainly no 
one you could respect and look up to for counsel and advice. You will 
remain, then, powerful and solitary. This is all very fine, but the 
position is trying, and high intelligence can better serve its God by 
dutifully lifting a small but compact circle to its own level of happiness 
than by striving to move the world. Fame brings many little cares of 
which I have not spoken; it has to bear hatred, envy, calumny troubles 
these which seldom invade the quiet nest. On a column in sight of all, 
and in the full blaze of noonday light, the flaws and defects of the 
finest marbles are all observed and attacked by the critics. Let us 
descend from the column and come to the nicely-poised mind that would 
be so charming in some obscurer spots if only it could be schooled to 
perform its great feats in the shady nooks of the world. Here I lay my 
finger on the root of your malady. One makes a very good show 
among a circle of indulgent friends, but the public ought not to be dis- 



334 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

appointed, for they did not complain of the want of your special talent, 
and did not invite you to become their idol in the temple of fame. 
One must walk upwards to this shrine with timid step, for there are 
more thorns than roses by the way. When the foot grows bolder, one 
becomes used to the compliments that are lavished, as well as to the 
curses that are heaped, on one's head by those over whose prostrate 
forms one tramples. At last life loses its lustre, and you become the 
slave of a cold, cruel, callous mind, possessed by aspiring to a glory it 
can never attain. Critics, at first silent, grow tired and bite ; they 
rudely signify to your astonished friends that after all you are no 
Eagle, but only a Swallow. 

This dawn of opposition irritates you, and self-love seeks consolation 
in the rapid flatteries of supporters whose pride prompts them to sustain 
you at all hazards, and the clever head, which might have been a 
reasonable one, is turned and lost ! 

I will, with your leave, now pass on to the third point in my obser- 
vations, glancing for a moment at the picture of a daughter, wife, or 
mother who, in addition to all the other virtues, cultivates literature. 
She must indeed be an amiable authoress who with one hand rocks the 
babe to sleep, while with the other she wields the pen that is to wake 
the world. 

During periods of inspiration the children tear her manuscripts, 
and add to her finest pages a sort of illumination on which she had 
not reckoned. Here you have a faithful description of this fantastic 
being whose infants are reared on a mixture of milk and ink. It is 
not, however, into the ridiculous that I fear to see you fall. I know 
your tastes too well, and hope they will shield you from such depths 
of depravity. 

What I dread most is the vanity which has led you to adopt a 
course so ridiculous as advocating the right of females. It may lead 
you into many grievous mistakes unless common sense comes to the 
rescue. 

I have spoken thus freely in order that my advice may be of 
service to you. Had I loved you less, my letter would have been 
milder and more pleasant to read. You may find it a bitter pill to 
swallow, but it will cure your malady ! 



LETTERS FROM A SWALLOW. 335 

THIRD LETTER FROM THE SWALLOW. 

A NEST OF ROBINS. 

I have by the merest chance fallen in with a friend, a most obliging 
creature, who will wait for this letter and deliver it to you. He is the 
bearer of important despatches, and appears worthy of the trust placed 
in him. While he explores the environs of my present halting-place, 
I hastily take up the pen to let you know my whereabouts, and to 
recount the events of my journey. Happily they are few and far 
between. 

As you do not seem to approve of female genius, I must make an 
effort to suppress the poetry that flows naturally from my pen. When 
I have finished a volume of inspired writing, you shall have a copy to 
study at leisure. Then, and not till then, shall I expect justice at your 
hands. 

I should have delayed writing, had circumstances not forced me to 
remind you of my existence. 

The /lay dawned [under depressing auspices, which will account for 
the sad tone of this epistle. On arriving in this delightful neighbour- 
hood, I made the acquaintance of a most agreeable family, consisting 
of a father, mother, and two little ones, the latter still under shelter 
of the maternal wings. As they had greeted my arrival with much 
grace and show of kindness, I thought it my duty, on waking this 
morning, to make a formal call at their nest. The manner in which I 
was received raised them tenfold in my estimation, but just as I had 
left them to return to my lodging, the air was suddenly filled with 
cries of distress. On wheeling round, I perceived that the situation 
was dreadful : one of the young brood had fallen to the ground in 
imprudently trying his wings ; although the fall was not great, danger 
was none the less imminent. An enormous bird of prey, after swoop- 
ing through the air in ominous circles, descended like a stone, straight 
to the scene of the disaster. The mother's resolution was soon taken ; 
addressing a few words to her husband touching the care of those 
she was leaving behind, and casting a fond look on the loved ones, 
she descended to the ground. There, showing a bold front to the 
enemy, she covered her little one with her wings ; but the dread foe 
kept slowly approaching, and at last quickened his pace, trusting to 
the immobility of his victim for an easy victory. The poor mother 



336 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

unflinchingly met her doom; for the fierce bird, with eyes of fire, 
pounced down upon her and carried her away, leaving the little one 




unharmed on the ground. After a moment's silence, the father de- 



LETTERS FROM A SWALLOW. 337 

scended and bore from the sad spot all that had been left by the bird 
of prey. I laid the little one in the hollow of the nest and took the 
vacant place of the mother. My sympathy rendered me speechless, 
while the father was mute with grief, he whose breast but a moment 
before had been bursting with joyous song. Suddenly a dull noise 
sounded near, our heads turned to the quarter whence a new danger 
seemed to threaten us. Imagine our joy when, in place of danger, we 
beheld our oppressor felled to the earth by an unseen hand, and the 
lost one returning safe to the nest. The delight of thus meeting one 
whom we thought dead filled all our hearts, and caused us to feel as 
one in happiness. 

Yet I feared the indiscretion of remaining too long to share their 
joy, and had just retired when a huge animal, one of the species 
inhabiting towns called Poacher, whistling gaily, approached the 
tree which sheltered the Robins. On his back he carried a bag, from 
which the head of their enemy hung out, and on his shoulder 
the instrument that delivered them. The poor mother could not 
restrain a cry of joy on recognising her dead foe. It was a cry that 
might have moved a heart of stone, but brutes, it is said, have no 
hearts. 

" Oh ! oh ! " cried the Poacher, " you sing sweetly, your song is 
most agreeable, but I would prefer the sound of you roasting on the 
spit. The little ones would not be worth eating, still one must be 
careful not to separate what God has united." 

After these words, he brought down my friends and consigned 
them to his bag. That is the reason of my sadness." 



THE SWALLOW'S FOURTH LETTER. 

MY DEAR FRIEND, I have been suffering for some days past from the 
effects of a slight accident which befell me on the road and compelled 
me to rest. In spite of regrets and impatience, I see no prospect of 
moving out of my narrow uncomfortable abode. Yet I. ought to feel 
thankful for shelter of any kind. Overtaken some distance from my 
resting-place by a great storm, the wind drove me with such violence 
against a wall as to fracture my leg. Nothing surprises me more than 

Y 



338 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

my inability to proceed, the injury seems so trifling. A tribe of 
Sparrows, who, with characteristic foresight, established themselves 
before the bad weather set in beneath the roof which shelters me, have 
shown me great kindness. Unfortunately for me the sun soon re- 
appeared, and his first rays have carried off my good-hearted hosts ; 
even my helplessness had no power to detain them. I therefore suffer 
all the more, as I had given them credit for pure disinterested charity. 
What little they have left in the shape of food will soon be exhausted, 
and I am still too weak to forage for myself. 

It is at such a time as this, pressed by poverty and enfeebled by 
sickness, that all the true friendship I have enjoyed in life proves a 
real comfort to me. Now I feel the curse of solitude and the need of 
a partner's care and affection. 

Although I might have weighed before starting the dangers of so 
long a journey, and accordingly felt neither surprise nor discouragement 
at this first mishap, I am certain that you, who dread everything 
which menaces the uniformity of your life, would have borne the 
affliction with greater patience and fortitude. You have accustomed 
yourself to abide contentedly in one spot, so that this enforced repose 
which galls me, had you been the sufferer, would have in no way. ruffled 
the calm of your head and heart. We are differently constituted, so 
differently that this constraint will drive me mad if I have to endure 
it much longer. 

Oh how it affects my temper, and tunes my ear to a painful pitch of 
perfection ! There is not a bird within hearing that does not sing 
false. My nearest neighbour is a Magpie, the stepmother of two little 
warblers, to whom she is a perfect tyrant, holding them in complete 
slavery, and taking pleasure in corrupting their natural tastes by 
making them sing all day long contralto airs unsuited to their 
voices. 

This female friend is a widow who receives no one, and who spends 
her days in scolding, an occupation which she varies by picking faults 
and feathers out of her step-children. I flatly refused the proposal she 
made through an old Crow, to replace her when she felt inclined to 
leave the nest in search of pleasure. This occurs chiefly in the evening. 
I think she is a person of very doubtful morality indeed. The offer 
was a tempting one, but I would rather starve than aid the dark 
schemes of this wicked female ; for dark they must be, as she takes no 



LETTERS FROM A SWALLOW. 



339 




340 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



one into her confidence save a blackguard-looking Crow who, I am 
certain, lives by plunder. 

So you see I not only have the misfortune to be, but to have made, 
a formidable enemy of this unscrupulous dame. I think I shall risk 
destroying my bad leg, and limp out of the dilemma into pastures new 
and an atmosphere more congenial. 

You whose goodness once drew me out of a like scrape, will pity my 
misfortunes and sigh for me more profoundly than I deserve. Still 
the thought of your kind interest will strengthen me nearly as much 
as if you were here to lend me a helping wing. I seem to feel as it 
were your guardian spirit hovering over my head ; so real does it 
appear that I shall implicitly trust to its guidance. This you will set 
down as a morbid fad of mine, as your spirit knows better than to 
trust itself into such latitudes. Be that as it may, your influence, if 
not your spirit, is ever with me. 



THE SWALLOW'S FIFTH LETTER. 

It is now a month since I left my last lonely retreat. A Linnet who 
was wandering about without any fixed purpose promised to help me. 
You may judge how eagerly I seized the proffered help, and the 
glorious prospect of quitting my disagreeable neighbour, and the still 
more disagreeable hole in which I had been cooped up so long. My foot 
is far from well, and, although my friend tries to persuade me to the 
contrary, I fear I shall be lame to the end of my days. I ought here 
to quote the fable of the "Two Pigeons," so often brought under my 
notice when you lectured me on my vagabond life. 

Surrounded by strangers, enfeebled by suffering, my future seems to 
grow daily darker and more dim, while no opportunity offers for the 
ventilation of my peculiar views. The males here, as elsewhere, are 
our masters one must own it if for no higher reason than to get one's 
share of the necessaries of life. The cause seems hopeless, unless one 
could hit upon some quinine or vaccine matter that would cure us of 
the weaknesses and vanities of female nature. As it is, the malady or 
weakness is there, and males, as of old, continue their endeavours to 
beat, kick, and govern it out of us ; one day they will succeed, when 
one kick too many will make us their masters. As for myself, who 



LETTERS FRO AT A SWALLOW. 341 

have not come under this peculiar bondage, I would gladly give my 
life for the enfranchisement of our sex ; but females will persist in 
religiously following in the beaten track, pleasantly taking the alter- 
nate love and kicks as they come, and retarding progress. They thus 
maintain a prodigious inert force, against which active energy is broken 
like the waves of the sea against a solid rock. 

I shudder at the thought of our impotency, and know not what 
course to follow that my name may receive the blessing of gene- 
rations yet unborn. I shall wait, like a true philosopher, for my 
good star to light the path of this noble ambition and lead me to 
my goal ! 

My Linnet, who has no ideas, and is not accustomed to reflect, will, 
I fear, soon grow weary of my company, and of the heavy task her 
heart has imposed on her. I am not a very agreeable companion, and 
I do not fail to notice that she endeavours to escape from the tete-d-tete 
of our daily life. 

Although sincerely in the humour to see the world, she took me 
yesterday to a meeting which at any other time would have filled me 
with hope. 

Our sex alone were admitted, and the end to which all my aspira- 
tions tend was the theme the young hearts were waiting to discuss 
with noble impatience. Several points as to the ways and means by 
which our rights were to be secured and guarded were dwelt upon by 
various speakers, after which, I am sorry to say, a number of ill- 
favoured females entertained the meeting by recounting their love- 
experiences, gossip, and scandal. 

These absorbing topics found a patron in the mistress of the occa- 
sion, an old Ringdove, who amiably recalled the far-off love-adven- 
tures of her youth. 

Tired and dispirited, I retired to rest, not to sleep, but to brood 
over the future, till at last, weary of thinking of the where-to-go and 
what-to-do of to-morrow, my eyes closed for the night. 



342 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS, 



THE SWALLOW'S SIXTH LETTER. 

MY DEAR FRIEND, After so many shattered hopes, so many vain 
endeavours, I determined to narrow my ambition and end my journey 
with the Linnet. Were you not a grave true-hearted Canary, you 
would smile at this consummation. I am completely at your mercy, 
and you are too good to abuse your advantage. 

Although there is something supremely ridiculous in all the fuss 
with which I set out to reform society, when one considers the result, 
I claim the privilege of pointing out that my scheme is none the less 
sound and good because it has failed. I am not converted. Society 
is not ripe for such a measure of reform. I have pleaded, solicited, 
preached to deaf ears and urged the adoption of my views ; the 
males listened and shrugged their shoulders, the females refused to 
listen and shrugged their shoulders, and in order to continue the 
struggle single-handed, I should require a stock of patience with which 
nature has not seen fit to endow me. 

Above all, I am lame, and to undertake no matter what in this 
world even to promote a good cause, one must begin with personal 
attractions that will appeal to the eye. A lame Swallow has therefore 
not much chance of success in this fast age. 

The spring will again find me in Paris, when I shall present my 
little companion, who I am sure will please you, notwithstanding her 
gaiety. She may even seem to you giddy. All I can say is, she is 
genuine and good-hearted. I must tell you she fell in love the other 
day with a young fop, with whom she would have decamped had I not 
caught her in time to arrest her fate. I gave her a page or two of my 
own early experience, which produced a deep and, let us hope, lasting 
impression. 

She wants looking after, guiding, and controlling. Yet why should 
I speak thus in opposition to my doctrine of freedom for the female 
sex, and lay my plans for her guidance 1 Can it be that my principles 
are gradually changing ? It cannot be ! Soon you will see me, my 
friend, sad but submissive, having found the world bad, and being 
unwilling to force it to become better. You will find me, as you 
would say, disenchanted as I would say, reasonable, although, to 
tell the truth, the two expressions may mean one and the same thing. 
I have travelled far in search of that wisdom which I might have 



LETTERS FROM A SWALLOW. 



343 



obtained without going out of my way. In my narrow view of life 
I had only been willing to notice the shortcomings of what is, and the 
advantages of what is not. 

These advantages are still manifest, so also is the danger of any 
change, even though it might bring a certain measure of amelioration. 
It seems, indeed, better to keep and improve a defective form of 
government than to change it for something new however good and 
untried. 

My only ambition now is to end my days near you. 




MEDICAL ANIMAL?. 




A VENERABLE Crow announces the ap- 
proaching death of one of our colleagues ; 
he flatters himself on being able to foretell 
the event. His prognostication is, we 
should say, certain to be verified, for at 
that moment the poor sufferer enters;. 
he was a Dog we say was, for he is now, 
alas ! nothing more than the skeleton, the 
shadow of that long-suffering animal. We 
tenderly inquire how he feels. 

" Ah," he replies, " my only feeling is 
pain ; they tried to cure me that is, my 
illness and behold the result. Ah, my 
brothers, what have you done 1 what is the world coming to ] You 
have provoked the animals to write, your counsels have been pushed 
too far, many of us poor brutes have been forced to think. That is 
not all, some even dream of poetry, painting, and science. These 
fools would have us believe that such mad courses raise us above our- 
selves and our sublime instincts. Nightingales imagine themselves 
birds of prey, Donkeys masters of song, while Cats conceive they dis- 
course the sublimest, sweetest harmony. Civilisation does it all ; it is 
a muddle, my friends, a fearful muddle. But the last notion is by far 
the most dreadful. Our brothers, weary of dying a natural death, have 
resolved to found chairs of medicine and surgery. Already they have 
begun their work ; behold me, the result of their experiments skin and 
bone, gentlemen ! skin and bone ! I have just been ordering myself 
crutches and a coffin. Dear me, how faint I feel ! " 
" Have a drink 1 " said the Fox. 

" Most thankfully," replied the Dog, who had been a very jolly Dog. 
in his day. 



MEDICAL ANIMALS. 345 

The Fox, preparing pen and ink, requests him to write down his 
mischances for the good of posterity. The Dog obeys it is his nature 
to do so only he requests the Fox to write at his dictation. 

" Being honest," he commenced, " I have no desire to conceal any- 
thing. There have been for some time amongst men certain individuals 
called Veterinaries most damaging rascals ; one is no sooner in their 
clutches, than they bleed, purge, and put one to the direct straits, 
bestowing a diet not fit for a Cat. I object to this most strongly, to 
this last phase of their treatment. They imagine that disease has a 
craving for food, and determine to kill it by systematic starvation ; the 
result is too often the death of the animal, and not the disease, which 
lives and spreads to others. I was one of those who proposed a com- 
mission to inquire into and state facts. You would hardly conceive, 
gentlemen, on what fools pardon I mean on what creatures the choice 
fell ; on Linnets and Moles the one for clear sight, the other for seeing in 
the dark. The commission set to work, taking it for granted that the poor 
never complain without cause, and examined everybody as they would 
convicted felons. I do not know what happened, but soon a majority 
of the enlightened commissioners, who had discovered nothing, decided 
that the affair was understood. A compiler produced a work for which, 
in common with all the other members of the commission, he was hand- 
somely rewarded, and that was all. As for me, I barked, howled, and 
manifested my disapproval ; many of my friends thinking they ought to 
do the same, the agitation became general." 

" Let that pass, my friend, let that pass," said the Fox ; " everything 
has an cud. Prudence and generosity forbid our dwelling on this 
subject." 

" In short," replied Medor, somewhat crest-fallen (Me"dor was our 
hero's name), "we agreed to form schools of secret medicine, and faculties 
of clandestine surgery, under the presidency of the Cock of ^Esculapius 
and the Serpent of Hippocrates. 

" Every animal, part of whose flesh or intestines had been used as a 
medicine, laid claim to the invention of the science, and all of them, 
from the least to the greatest, held that they each had been used by 
man-doctors as universal panaceas. Would you believe it, these biped 
physicians dared to prescribe Tortoise broth for languor, and jelly of 
Viper for impurity of the blood ! " 

" Medor, you are wise, and if ever we add an Academy of Sciences to 
our journal, you shall belong to it." 



346 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



" To the Academy, Prince 1 " 

" No, to our journal ; who do you take yourself for ? Continue." 

"You have not forgotten, gentlemen, that your humble servant 
objected chiefly to the diet, not to the science " 

" Is it much longer ? " inquired the Fox. 

" I must finish my narrative, sir ; that is all I can conscientiously say." 

"You are honest, but that is an useless quality nowadays." 

" My brothers," continued Medor, " if we confine our attention to the 
remedies prescribed by men, we shall only foster sickness and hasten 
death. I once heard the remark made by a man, that the sublimest 
philosophy was that which stood the test of common sense. I am 
inclined to think that the sublime in the art of healing would be to 
return to and trust to instinct. These words are simple, but 
profound; think over them, although they will meet only with the 
world's scorn." 

" Decidedly," said the Fox. " It is most unreasonable, when one 
wants to found a science, to begin with common sense ; that is a vulgar 
natural gift which can only stand in the way of science." 

" That is quite evident," murmured a Bear, who had come forward 
with a subscription. 

Medor scratched his ear and proceeded in a lower tone. "My 
opinions were blamed, I was cursed, beaten, and treated as an 
incendiary. When I wished to raise my paws to heaven to protect my 
innocence, one of them was broken, and my colleagues ironically 
inquired what remedy instinct and common sense suggested to me under 
the circumstances, and if any to apply it. But as they had taken care 
to knock me on the head before asking the question, I was unable to 
reply, and so stood convicted of insanity." 

" Herein is logic ! " said the Fox. 

" I was put to bed on straw and the chamber was soon filled by a 
Leech, a Crane, a heteroclitic animal, a Spanish Fly, and a dignified 
idler, who seated himself as soon as he arrived. The heteroclitic 
creature, a dry, cold, carefully-dressed personage, declared the seance 
open, the object of which was to effect my cure by purely scientific 
means. I thought I was dead, but a Sow who acted as my nurse 
reassured me by saying 

" ' Do not be afraid ; the good die, the bad remain/ 

" ' Old mother/ I replied, ' you were not placed here to poison my 
ear, on the contrary ' and I turned on my miserable couch. 



MEDICAL ANIMALS. 



347 



" The Leech then pronounced me delirious, and intimated his inten- 
tion of sucking out the malady through a blood-vessel in my throat- 







Happily the Spanish Fly noticed that my tongue protruded in token of 
exhaustion, and proposed to apply what he termed a counter-irritant 



348 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



that is, to set up a most painful competition between disease and 
remedy. 

" 'My dear sir/ said the Crane to the Fly, 'neither your treatment 
nor your opinion can have the least weight ; it is a well-known fact 
that six thousand four hundred of you weigh only a miserable half- 
pound. Half a pound weight, think of that.' 

" 'What is your opinion, Mr. Idler 1 ?' inquired the Heteroclite. 

'"I practise the leisurely science of meditating on the mysteries of 
life and death. We must consult together, and weigh the situation 
before we can hope to arrive at a just diagnosis of this important case. 
As a consulting physician, I ' 

" ' My opinion is,' gravely continued the first speaker, ' that the 
abnormal humidity of the feet, head, chest, and all the members, is 
one of the gravest symptoms of this case.' 

" The Seal shrugged his shoulders. 

" ' Humidity I hold to be most dangerous, whether in the shape of 
rain, dew, or the saturation of a heated atmosphere. An umbrella or 
waterproof may ward off its influence, our patient is beyond that stage 
and requires more subtle remedies. As for myself, I am obliged to ob- 
serve the greatest caution. I never travel without my carriage, and to 
walk over a cold flagstone without a carpet would be to court death. I 
have done : that being so, I make it a rule to inquire who is to pay me ? 

" ' And us,' cried a voice outside. 

"'Who are you?' 

" ' We are the animal surgeons who alone can effect a cure ; open, or 
we will cut our way through the door, just as we would to the heart of 
a disease.' 

"The door was opened, and the Saw-fish entered, followed by its 
attendants. The operator showed his teeth, felt my pulse, and soon a 
circle formed round the couch. Under the circumstances it was natural 
to faint, and I did my best to do so ; but as extremes sometimes meet, 
and there is but a step from fainting to delirium, I became mad. 
Dark scenes of dissecting-room practice passed before me. My name 
had changed from Me" dor to No. 33, just as if I had become a cab on 
a stand or a watchman. I was no longer a solitary invalid, but one 
of many stretched on beds in a long ward. My neighbour No. 32 
had passed away, or rather his remains had been conveyed to a sort 
of dining-room at the end of the ward. The sole ornaments of this 
chamber were skeletons and bones. What had become of the flesh?" 



MEDICAL ANIMALS. 



349 



" ' My friend, these bones were doubtless fossils. You are slandering 
your fellow-citizens. But you are free, continue.' 




"I wished to raise my voice against this profanation, this brutality, 
this sacrilege, but the Shark, biting my ear till it bled, advised me to 
be calm, resolute, and happy. 

" ' You must not puzzle your brain about the mysteries of clinical 
surgery,' said he. 



350 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

" ' I have already done that/ I replied. 

" ' Hush ! I am about to describe your case to these gentlemen, who 
are only too anxious to see you on your legs again. It is necessary 
they should be made acquainted with the prognostics, diagnostics, the 
symptomatology, the dietetic and, shall we say, numismatic details, 
not one of which shall be overlooked. If you are not instantly cured, 
we will not waste precious time by following in the footsteps of 
physicians from whom we are separated by the strictum 'and the laxum, 
humours, mucous membranes, pores, not to name the 66,666 sorts of 
fever which specially attack the animal organisation. We will not 
occupy ourselves with Aristotle, Pliny, Ambrose Pare", a miserable 
idealist, who has said, "I dressed your wounds, but God healed them." 
No, that is not our business. Our patron, our hero, is Alexander ; our 
practice, to tighten or relax the tissues oh no ! Alexander knew 
better than that, he cut them.' 

" 'Long live Alexander ! ' said the Vultures, Rats, and Crows of the 
audience. 

*" You have understood me clearly,' said the speaker. 'I have now 
the honour to ask the opinion of the Saw-fish, my colleague, whose 
doctrines I hold in the highest esteem, although I have my own way 
of applying them ; and now, gentlemen, we will proceed to incise the 
muscles, saw the bones, and in fact cure our patient. 7 

" They are bound to kill me, I thought ; a thousand times death 
rather than vivisection." 

" And you played the dead Dog 1 " said the Fox. 

" Just so, and some good little fellow said that it would be unwise to 
operate owing to my weakness : it often happens that the most trifling 
incidents delay the greatest events." 

" Say that again," said the Fox with a tinge of irony, " it seems 
good." 

" Sometimes, sir, the smallest incidents delay the greatest events. It 
so happened that the orator fell not on the one who had interrupted 
him, but on his neighbour, whom he accused of lifting the hospitaljint 
and bearing it off to line his nest. 

" A large Vulture, a provincial student, as might easily be seen from 
his huge cloak and cap stuck on the back of his head, dared to remark 
that the profession of surgery was one of liberty, and that professors 
had no right to interfere in the private affairs of their pupils. In this 
way the question of the missing lint was satisfactorily disposed of, and 
the lecturer proceeded. 



MEDICAL ANIMALS. 351 

" ' Gentlemen, as the operation must be postponed for to-day, permit 
me, in the interests of science, to make a few remarks on the subject 
of morals.' 

" That was flattering you," remarked the Fox. 

" Perhaps it was, at any rate, the little sermon which I here abridge 
was lost on me. 

" 'Dear pupils, the true student of science is to a certain extent invested 
with a God-like nature ; our profession is a priesthood, for you know 
the healing art in ancient times was only exercised by the priests : 
it requires therefore more than talent, it demands virtue.' 

" ' Oh ! oh ! ! ' exclaimed several students of the same year. 

" ' Medicine will again become a priesthood, or, if you prefer it, a 
social function ; doctors will preside over the public hygiene. The fewer 
maladies there are, the more will medicine be honoured and recom- 
pensed. But in order to arrive at this desirable end it is necessary 
to raise the qualifications of the profession, and to exclude many 
aspirants, otherwise each family will have its physician. What, then, 
would become of us when there is a doctor to each floor and another 
to each attic ? The study of our science is painful and costly. It 
must be rendered doubly so to check the influx of those who either by 
talent or morality are unfitted to enter our ranks.' 

" ' But, my master,' said the Vulture, * you are not reasonable ; what 
you dread is the ability of the young generation which threatens to 
eat up your sinecures. Your paternal solicitude is misplaced ! ' 

" Another student objected to slandering misery and privation, the 
true attributes that alone by strengthening and purifying genius render 
it serviceable to the world. 

" * Yes/ he continued, ' I myself have known that life is a hard, bitter 
struggle, but God is still all-powerful. The snow that covers every blade 
of grass and every seedling beneath its chill mantle, never caused me 
to doubt, even for an instant, that spring would come arrayed in its 
blossoms, or that autumn would again fill the storehouse with fruit and 
grain. I have known hunger, but never despair. What matters the 
numbers pressing forward to compete with us in allaying pain ? There 
is room for all who honestly strive to make the world more joyous ! ' 

"'Long live joy! 'cried the Crow. 'Misery is the poetry of the 
cottage, just as the garret is the palace of students. If life becomes 
still harder, why, to-morrow we will move up a story higher nearer 
heaven go to the roofs. Now, my friends, here is the whole truth in 



352 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

a nutshell, the houses of Paris must be viewed thus : our lofty attics 
contain the head, and therefore the brain, of this large city, something 
too of the heart. It is there one thinks, it is there one dreams, it is 
there one loves, while waiting to descend to the first floor, to meditate 
on ambition and riches. Our master may talk ; for all that, he himself 
is a living proof of success of the fact that very little merit indeed 
is frequently rewarded by much wealth and fame.' 

" ' Ah ! ' replied the Shark, ' you forget that one successful career is 
the product of a thousand failures. Only lofty qualities can bring 
the successful to the surface, while thousands sink into misery and 
obscurity. Some one said that the sun smiles on our successes, and 
the kindly earth throws her mantle over our failures. The truth is, 
the sun shines on a host of ungrateful convalescents, and the earth 
too soon receives our most astounding surgical cures ! ' 

"The discussion was becoming too learned, I therefore slipped out by 
the foot of the bed but not before they had resumed the discussion 
of my case and left them in the thick of it to come here." 

Saying this, the poor cripple made his bow and disappeared, totally 
regardless of the future of his important revelations. 

We beg any one who may know the whereabouts of Medor to keep 
the secret to himself; being unable to help our fellow-creatures in 
distress, we wish them kept out of our way, or taken to our next-door 
neighbour, who has probably more time and money at his disposal. 




THE QlRAFFE'g TABLET3- 
JARDIN DES PLANTES. 



LETTER TO HER LOVER IN THE DESERT. 



PRAISED be the 
good spirits that 
protect Ants, Gir- 
affes, and prob- 
ably men! Before 
many days we 
shall meet, never 
to part. 

The learned 
men of whom I 
shall presently 
speak, who in this 
land make the 
weather bad 
weather, as a rule 
have decreed in 
their wisdom that 
it is not good for 
Giraffes to be 

alone, as the social habits of our race can never be truly ascertained from 
the study of a single individual. How this happens I cannot explain. 
I have, however, put you in possession of the fact that you may know- 
as much as I do myself. 

Here I am transported to a land one finds it hard to get used to, 

z 




354 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

a land where the sun is pale, the moon dim, the wind damp, the dust 
dry and dirty, and the air icy cold. Of the three hundred and sixty 
odd days which make up the year, it rains during three hundred and 
forty, when the roads become rivers unfit for the dainty foot of Giraffes. 
During winter the rain becomes white, and covers all things with one 
uniform dazzling carpet, which wounds the eye and saddens the heart. 
The water becomes solid, and misery waits upon birds and beasts, who 
perish on the banks of the streams without being able to quench their 
thirst. 

The species of animal that rules in this region is the most ill-favoured 
of all God's creatures. His head, instead of conforming to our graceful 
model, is nearly round like a melon, and partly covered with short hair 
like hogs' bristles, only thicker, darker, and not so clean looking ; his 
neck is almost hidden between his shoulders, and only develops by 
becoming thicker and shorter ; his skin is of an earthy colour ; and to 
complete this ridiculous picture, he has got into the stupid way of 
walking on his hind-legs, and swinging those in front to maintain 
his equilibrium. It is difficult to imagine any figure more vulgar or 
absurd. I am inclined to think that this poor animal is afflicted with 
a painful sense of his deformity, for he hides as much of his figure as 
possible. He uses for this purpose an artificial covering fabricated out 
of the bark of plants and skins of animals. This device does not mend 
matters, as it renders him an ugly piece of patchwork. The first sight 
of a man that is the name by which this hideous animal is known 
will cause you to be thankful you were born clothed by the Creator 
in matchless attire, and that you have never fallen into the hands of 
a Parisian tailor. 

We express our sentiments and needs in simple sounds and looks ; 
they, on the other hand who appear formerly to have enjoyed the 
same privilege carried away by a fatal instinct, or, if one must believe 
the wisest of them, subject to a destiny of incomparable punishment, sup- 
planted nature's simple language by an almost continuous grumbling. 
They have invented sounds in abundance to signify what they don't 
want and can't get, and spend half their days in gabbling over the 
limited nature of their moral and physical appetites. These sounds 
sometimes express wishes, but more frequently what is called ideas. 
Ideas are in themselves nothing, although they are the key to all that 
is deficient, cross, and hostile in what these creatures call conversation. 
When two Men separate after conversing for hours, we may rest assured 



THE GIRAFFE'S TABLETS. 355 

that the one ignores all that has been said by the other, and hates him 
more thoroughly than before. 

It is also necessary for me to tell you that this animal is essen- 
tially ferocious, and feeds upon flesh and blood. This need not 
frighten you; either from his natural cowardice, or from a horrible 
refinement of ingratitude and cruelty, he only devours poor defenceless 
timid beasts, easy to surprise and kill, and who have often clothed him 
with their wool or enriched him with their service. Again, it is his 
custom to rear these victims in his own country. An animal from a 
strange land inspires a sort of religious respect, which is shown in the 
utmost care and homage. He lays out parks for the Gazelle, embellishes 
the Lion's den, and digs a pond for the Hippopotamus. As for myself, 
he had planted rows of trees with nourishing leaves ; beneath my feet 
is a mossy sward and belt of fine sand, a miniature desert, while my 
dwelling is kept at a uniform temperature. His poor fellow-creatures 
would only be too delighted if he took the same care of them. He 
cares for them at a distance, and at times, without warning, breaks 
out into a frenzy and slaughters them right and left. 

These massacres are said to be, caused by some high-sounding nothing 
called a word or an idea. Men being by nature harmless or unarmed 
have invented destructive weapons of the most formidable kind. 
When they cannot agree about any given idea they bring out their 
weapons, and the side which works the greatest destruction of life and 
property is always right. Right is built upon the wreck of empires, 
so Men say, until some giant power proves right to be wrong and 
dethrones it, showing that right is a sort of weathercock that changes 
with every wind of government. 

There are Men, and there are also extraordinary Men that is, a 
class called Scholars. The grubs of these creatures are bred in books. 
Many of them die while yet buried in printed leaves, in the chrysalis 
state, from which they never emerge ; but the Book-worm, after many 
lays, ought, full fledged, to soar away into the light of science. 

It is the duty of Scholars to pay more attention to the words in 
which ideas are expressed than to the ideas themselves, as well as to 
invent words, which few will understand, to denote the commonest 
things. When speaking, the Scholar is careful to use words so seldom 
pronounced, that it would be better if they were not pronounced at 
all. 

Above all, the most interesting human type is Woman, a poor, soft, 



356 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 




ALL THE MEETINGS 



THE GIRAFFE'S TABLETS. 357 

elegant, timid, delicate creature, who became the slave of Man. I do 
not know where or when, but he has trained her to submit to him like 
the Horse, either by force or cunning. I tell you she is by far the 
most graceful form in nature, yet Man spoils her appearance ; she is 
seen to greater perfection without him. She has few sentiments save 
love ; the need of loving some one or something shows itself early, and 
never leaves her. During her youth the hours are spent in conjuring 
up in her mind some ideal Man with whom she is to live a blissful 
life. She after a time becomes the wife of some one in whom she 
thinks she has found the lover of her dreams. Alas ! too .often the illu- 
sion soon passes away, and she learns that the fond image of her youth 
was a being of a higher sphere. 

You will be surprised at my giving you so many details regarding 
this country and its animals, but as yet I have told you nothing about 
the way they govern themselves. Politics pure and simple is the 
science most talked about and least understood in France. If you 
listen to one person on the subject of politics, his ideas seem obscure ; 
if to two, they are confused ; if to three, they are chaotic. When the 
number of speakers increase to four or five, they are prepared to 
strangle each other. Judging from the universal favour in which I am 
held by all classes, it has once or twice crossed my mind that all their 
political sentiments had found a calm centre in myself, and that they 
would at last elect me their king. This seems all the more likely 
since Frenchmen are utterly unable to agree as to the exact moral and 
intellectual qualities which should adorn a prince, and it may be they 
have in a friendly way resolved to choose their masters according to 
height. By adopting this plan, party spirit would be demolished, and 
all questions settled by measurement. 

Last week I resolved to be present at a meeting of deputies to be 
held nearer to the river than my abode. I accordingly bent my steps 
that way, and soon arrived at a sort of palace filled with a tumultuous 
throng. 

The members of the Cabinet only differed from other men in 
characteristic ugliness, the result, it is said, of grave habits of thought, 
and of the manner in which they snatch their pleasures from the cares 
of office. What surprised me most was their activity, which never 
permitted them to rest for an instant in the same spot, for I was 
witnessing by chance one of the stormy meetings of the session. They 
tossed themselves about, jumped and mixed into a hundred confused 



358 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 




THE GIRAFFE'S TABLETS. 359 

groups, apostrophising their adversaries with cries and menacing 
gestures, and showing their teeth with the most hideous grimaces. The 
object of most of them seemed to be to raise themselves above their 
fellows, and there were those who compassed this end by mounting on 
the heads and shoulders of their neighbours. 

Unfortunately, though well pleased to witness the gambols of the 
assembly, owing to my superior stature I failed to catch a single word 
in the confusion of voices, and I retired sickened and deafened by the 
vociferation, grinding of teeth, whisking of tails, whistling and 
howling, without being able to form a conjecture as to the subject 
under discussion. 

For all that, something was carried, and the speeches, it is said, 
appeared in the official organ next day in most harmonious prose. 
There are those who say that all the seances resemble this one in a 
greater or less degree, so I shall dispense with witnessing another.* 

I had proposed to give you, before closing my letter, some specimens 
of the language now used in Paris. You will be able to form your 
own notions of it from the following sentences, which have just been 
exchanged between a young man with a Bison's beard, and a young 
woman with the eyes of a Gazelle, to whom he was trying to justify 
his long absence : 

" I was preoccupied, beautiful Isoline, with sublime ideas, of which 
your woman's heart has the noble intuition. Placed by the capacities 
which they have been willing to accord to me at the zenith of the 
adepts of perfectionabilisation, and long absorbed in philosophic, 
philanthropic, and humanitarian speculations, I was tracing the plan 
of a political encyclism which would moralise all peoples, harmonise 
all institutions, utilise all the faculties, and develop all the sciences ; 
but I was not the less drawn towards you by the most passionate 
attraction, and I " 

" Say no more," solemnly interrupted Isoline; "do not think me a 
stranger to those lofty aspirations, and pray do not suspect my spirit 
< -a] table of being charmed by the baits of a coarse nature. Proud of 
your destiny, dear Adhimar, in the sentiment which unites us I only 
see an elective affinity which the instinct of cohesion has confounded 

* It is evident that the Giraffe falls into a mistake, which is scarcely an excusable 
one were she not quite innocent. Confined in the Jardin des Plantes, she could not 
visit the Chamber of Deputies, which she imagines she is describing. What she did 
see was the Monkeys' palace. ED. 



360 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

with a sympathetic individuality, or, to express myself more clearly, 
the fusion of these isolated idiosyncrasies which feel the need of becom- 
ing simultaneous." 

Here the conversation was continued in a low voice, and I think I 
may suppose that it became more intelligible, for the young philosopher 
was beaming with pleasure when he left Isoline. 

THE GIRAFFE. 




THE CaoAKiNqg OF A CROW. 

THE inferiority of man to the lower animals of the world does not 
admit of the faintest shadow of doubt, at least that is my belief, and 
in making it known, it must be understood that it is done honestly 
and without malice. I am one of the few creatures against whom man 
is powerless to do harnn, happily considering me beneath his notice, as 
my flesh is too tough even to make soup for paupers. I am, in fact, a 
Crow, and consequently view the world and its inhabitants from a noble 
elevation. 

Men themselves are conscious- of their deplorable condition, and fully 
aware that their complex bodiea are frequently impotent to respond to 
the wishes of their active brains. Poor architects are they who design 
impossible structures which no hands can build. Pitiable ! pitiable ! ! 
Does any one believe that they are unconscious of their inferiority ? 
If so, what can account for their eternal complaints, their incessant 
misunderstandings and litigations? 

Mock, write, invent fables of moustached men. You shall never be 
able to render us animals ridiculous unless you first endow us with 
human vices, passions, and aspirations. You compel my pity, poor 
pariahs of the world ;. you who could not live for a day without us 
without the wool of our friend the Sheep to make your attire, the 
silk of the Worm to line your coats or cover your umbrellas, for rain 
is often fatal to you, while the refreshing wind penetrates your thin 
pink skin and chills you to the heart. You doubtless wish you were 
a Crow like myself, to fly through the air in place of crawling along with 
your too solid bodies through slimy city streets. I dislike you least 
on horseback, and you yourselves are proud of borrowing a certain 
dignity from a brute ; but the dignity belongs to the Horse, not to the 
rider, although the latter accounts it all his own, and, strange to say, 
thinks himself superior to the animal that carries him. Are you not 
weaker than the Ox or the Elephant ? Does not the smallest insect 
become a burden to you ? A Fly tickling your nose drives you mad, 



362 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



and in place of setting the misguided insect free, you take its life. 




The sting of a Gnat swells and deforms your face, and spoils the 
image of the God that made you ; while the bite of a reptile a hundred 



THE CROAK INGS OF A CROW. 363 

times smaller than yourself proves fatal. Moreover, you cannot deny 
that you have spent whole nights in a bloodthirsty search for the Flea 
that has banished sleep from your pillow, and the little offender has 
after all evaded you. Tell me why do you grow pale before a caged Lion ? 
It is, alas ! his gentlest caress would break every bone in your frail body. 

"Ah, well ! We own our physical infirmity ; it is of no consequence, 
as we are princes by our intelligence, and on that ground we defy you, 
Master Crow." 

You flatter yourselves, gentlemen. Do you suppose for a moment 
you have more ingenuity, ability, and patience than the Spider, who 
unaided produces the silken material and weaves the most marvellous 
fabric in the world 1 You cannot even make lint compared to it, 
although the cotton is grown ready to your hand. Who, like the 
Spider, can prevail upon his food to come to his door, and secure it so 
cunningly? and who so deftly can escape danger? Again, are you 
more crafty than the Fox, more subtle than the Serpent ? You boast 
of your heart, and yet when you want a symbol of tenderness or 
devotion it is among our ranks you look for it. Show me the human 
mother who, like the Pelican, would daily pierce her side, or, like the 
Kangaroo, bear the constant burden of her little ones. Talk as you 
like of your paternal kindness, and the sacrifices you make to bring up 
your children ; in short, you parade everything that will in any way 
minister to your own vanity. You are careful to publish your good 
deeds with assumed humility, that the world may trumpet them 
abroad. But for constancy and unobserved devotedness to her off- 
spring the meanest bird will put mankind to the blush. Show nir 
the father who, while attending to the duties of his office, would 
prepare his children's food and rock them to sleep. 

W, the birds and brutes of creation, do naturally what costs you an 
almost superhuman effort. We have no need of moral and religious 
institutions to teach us how dutifully to fill our allotted spheres. 
Natural instinct is our teacher, and we obey its faintest whisperings. 
W<- have no schools of music, the arts, or sciences ; for all that, the 
Nightingale's notes are true and harmonious, and the comb of the Bee 
continues to be constructed with matchless beauty and precision. 

You live in families, so do we ; but supposing a human family were 
compelled to spend an entire winter, like the poor Marmots, shut up 
in one dark chamber, what would be the result ? I fear some broken 
tempers and more fractured bones. 



364 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



You are proud, so is the Peacock ; but the latter lives on his pride, 
while you frequently die of it it chokes you. 

What can I say about human courage ? simply nothing. My own 




good nature prompts me here to draw the veil, only adding a word on 
the subject of mendicity. 

In our beastly kingdom mendicity is unknown. We would rather 
starve than mimic all the ills of life in order to gain a beggarly living. 



THE CROAK INGS OF A CROW. 



365 




366 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



When we have performed our allotted tasks in life, and are unable to 
provide for ourselves, we die. Not so with men ; they are doomed to 
cling to the last shreds of life when all its joy and lustre have gone, and 




live on as if overtaken by some fearful retribution. But here I touch 
upon a large and mysterious question, and being a modest Crow, I shall 
leave it, as I fold my wings to sleep, for the night is falling and the 
ink has dried on my quill. The twilight hour of love is passing, and 
the Nightingale is tuning his lute. I have the honour to salute you. 




SOUVENIR? OF AN OLD T^OOK. 

FRAGMENTS FROM AN ALBUM OF TRAVELS. 
"Non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt." HORACE, Epistles. 



SUMMARY. 

Why does one travel 1 An old castle. The Duke and Duchess. The Terrace. An 
old Falcon. The hosts of the Terrace. Make yourself a Grand Duke. A magic 
Carp. How an Owl dies of love. How Madame Crow ends her story. 









To begin, why does one 

travel 1 Is not repose the greatest 
blessing in the world 1 Is it, after 
all, worth one's while going out of 
one's way to see or to avoid any- 
Can one honestly say that any advantage is gained by travel- 






thing ? 
ling 1 

Some pursue happiness, and the pursuit invariably ends in the grave ; 
nth-r.s flee the evil which no one escapes. The Swallows follow the 
sun and flit with its beams, while Marmots close their eyes on all his 
wintry glory and court repose, having faith that nature will again 
awake at Phcebus's bidding. There are many creatures who leave their 



368 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

homes to face unknown dangers, but few return, for space is vast, and 
the insatiable ocean cries for ever, " Give ! give ! " Many more go to 
sleep and few awake, for sleepers are near to the death that broods 
over them. The Butterfly travels because he has wings. The Snail, 
rather than remain in one place, shoulders his house and moves along ; 
the unknown is so attractive. Hunger wounds these, love woos those ; 
for the former some happy region teems with food, for the latter with 
sentiment. Those alone who travel without aim are burdened with 
satiety. As for the Squirrel who turns an his cage, we may say, 
" S'agiter n'est pas avancer," * Unfortunately, Eke him, many move, but 
few make progress. Thus it is said that the wise ones of the world 
prefer peaceful misery to active happiness ; they are content to live on 
in the spot where they were born without troubling their heads about 
anything beyond the limits of their horizon, and they die, if not happy, 
at least tranquil. But it may be that thk wisdom comes from the 
coldness of their hearts, and the weakness and powerlessness of their 
wings. 

No one has answered the question, Why does one travel ? better 
than a great writer of our sex, George Sand, who said, " One travels 
because no one is happy here below." It must be that motion is 
everywhere, nothing is perfect, therefore there is no repose. As for 
me, I have travelled not because I had a liking for motion, for I loved 
my nest and the short walks over the village green. 

" What is the good of these interminable speculations and questions 
at the beginning of your tale 1 ?" said an old friend and neighbour, 
whose advice I sometimes ask, always reserving my right to do as I 
please. "It is not because you occupy yourself with philosophy, &c. 
&c., that you must bore your readers. You will be accounted a pedant. 
Are you going to favour us with the particulars of all you have seen 
and thought during the century you have been in the world 1 Do you 
intend, after the mistake of living so long, to add the folly of travel- 
ling interminably over paper ? Believe me, if you really want to be 
thought a bold adventurous spirit, a travelling genius, write a book of 
travels. The century of Columbus has passed, one has no need to 
discover new lands, one may now set up as a traveller at less cost and 
no risk. Discover, if you will, the spot where you were born, your 
neighbours and your neighbours' affairs, yourself, or nothing, and 
write about them. Relate what does it matter how you relate, so long 
* S. La Valette, Fables. 



SOUVENIRS OF AN OLD ROOK. 369 



as you do relate something ? It is the time for stories. Imitate your 
contemporaries, those illustrious travellers, who, in the four corners of 
the globe, bravely write down their impressions while reclining on the 
straw or down of the paternal nest. Follow their example, I say, jot 
down everything about yourself, your friends, your servants ; the time 
you dine, and all about your appetite. Detail the dishes you have, 
and those you have not, institute a comparison between the feathers of 
different birds, taking care never to dip beneath the surface, confine 
your descriptions to dress and manners. Whenever you come across 
an old tale, colour it freely and serve it up as new, and I shall promise 
you a great success. You will fall into many grave errors. What of 
that 1 they will never be discovered till after you are dead, when it 
may amuse your children to defend your reputation." 

These reflections had a certain fascination for me, the advice might 
be good, or bad, it was at any rate easy to follow. But my conscience 
kept me out of harm's way, and I replied 

" One cannot always follow one's own inclination, as for me, I am 
an honourable Rook, and will do my best at all times. If what you 
have just said is intended for advice, it is so precious you ought to 
keep it to yourself." 

" Be it so," he said, bowing gravely. 

I returned the salute and again took up my pen. I am undoubtedly 
an old Rook. Old as I am I have no notion of concealing my age. I was 
once young, that I can well remember, young as the Starlings yonder, and 
less giddy, having a proper notion of the respect due to age. Old age, 
in spite of all its infirmities, would meet with greater marks of tender- 
ness and reverence if we tli ought a little more of the silent grave, on 
whose brink the feeble steps are tottering. 

As far as I can remember I was married then ; yes, when I was 
young, that is true, it is some fifty years ago, and I seemed to grow old 
in a day when I lost my dear husband. How strangely the scene comes 
back to my poor old head. It was a dreadful day, the wind was 
moaning dismally through the crevices of the old tower, while the 
thunder, bursting in terrible peals from the dark sky, shook the found- 
ations of the grim cathedral, making its grey stones tremble as if with 
fear. Chill rain fell in torrents, and for the first time menaced our 
nest, though it was well protected under one of the doorways of the 
Cathedral of Strasbourg. " I am dying ! " said a feeble, yet resolute 
voice. That was my husband, poor dear ; he made up his mind to die 

2 A 



370 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



and he died. He was always a very determined bird. "Mind the 




young ones, love ! " These were his last words, and I did mind them, 
at least I tried to, but they, all of them, died within a week. 

Worst of all, I could not die myself, and a sort of consolation did 



SOUVENIRS OF AN OLD ROOK. 371 



steal into my widowed heart, that made me feel I would not be justified 
in dying. 

" Travel," said an old Stork, who had nursed my husband. " You 
will start inconsolable, you will return calmed if not consoled. Many 
griefs have been starved out and left behind on the king's highways. 
This Stork was esteemed as a very sensible creature, but the world 
had hardened her heart : I would sooner kill my children than stifle 
grief! My children, alas! where are they 1 ? A number of friendly 
Crows, our neighbours, lent weight to the Stork's advice by urging me 
to leave the old scenes, and I did leave the place, although I almost 
felt certain that my husband and little ones would reappear some 
day. 

Talk of travelling ! why, I have travelled without halting almost for 
the last fifty years, but it did not take me a fiftieth part of that time 
to find out that the worldly old Stork was right. 

From the -moment of entering seriously on my journeys, I was 
reminded of this proverb by a celebrated moralist. " One travels in 
order to relate one's travels." I determined to follow this maxim, and 
accordingly, armed with note book, set out to explore the world. As 
occasion presented itself, I related my adventures, and was fortunate in 
securing listeners who, however, were afraid to applaud what might 
prove unpopular. At last a bird (in truth no friend of mine), well- 
known in fashionable circles, hazarded Ms patronage, saying aloud with 
the most perfect assurance, that my tales were decidedly good. That 
made my fortune, not that my tales were improved by this notice, but 
they became sanctioned, so to speak. Soon my stories flew from beak 
to beak ; I found them everywhere. However little one deserves praise, 
it is always flattering, I therefore continue. 

AN OLD CASTLE. 

There was once an old castle I begin story-telling after the good 
old fashion, it somehow gives one a fair start, and it is expected 

There was once an old castle, the castle of . . .it neither matters 
what nor where. 

At a time when France boasted almost impregnable castles, this one 
had often resisted the fiercest onslaughts, although it had been taken 
and retaken times without number, when the loves of valiant knights 
for maidens fair caused many bitter feuds. The castle during troublous 



372 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



times had been overthrown little by little, so that almost nothing 
remained of the original building. 

It is sufficient to say, it was taken and pillaged during the Revolution 
f ? 93> which demolished many old strongholds; after that of 1815 it 
was about to be restored, and its fortune was visibly brightening when 
overtaken by the Revolution of 1830, so ably described by the Hare in 
the opening pages of this book. 

The old fortress was then deprived of its rank and ancient aristocratic 
fame, and in its degradation, sold to a banker, an individual who, 
although rich, was ignorant of the archseological fitness of things. So it 
turned out that the purchaser while devoting wealth and ambition to 
his new property, gave it the final blow. 

Masons were seen at work everywhere, filling up holes, plastering 
and whitewashing walls ; just as if seeking to impart a delicate grace 
and refinement to a rugged old rock. A terrace was built (renaissance!), 
supposed to be in keeping with the old remaining, parts of the castle, 
and the chapel became a billiard room. The old place was thoroughly 
rebuilt, and the new owner satisfied. There was a little of everything 
about it. Every style under heaven figured in the edifice, the heteroge- 
neous mixture being hideous enough to disturb the reposing dust of 
ancient Byzantine architects. For all that, the restoration was much 
applauded by the courtiers of this king of bullion. 

Some parts of the building were happily overlooked, or rather 
saved. 

Thus it came about that the poor old castle was renewed, decked 
with a painted and plastered mask, as inferior to the genuine original 
as the mask of a harlequin to the face beneath. 

As I have already said, I was born in Strasbourg Cathedral, that 
gem of Alsace, beneath the classic sculptured stone in the great porch. 
When one has had such a cradle, reared as I was to venerate antiquity 
and all its triumphs of art, it is natural to protest against the impu- 
nity of those who destroy the noble works of the ancients. 

The restored portion was tenanted the terrace, I mean by barn 
and other Owls, comical creatures who gave themselves the airs of the 
first lords of the soil, dukes and duchesses forsooth. 

One evening after a long day's flight I arrived at this castle, wearied 
and in the worst of tempers ; out of tune with the world and myself. 
I was haunted by ennui, and one of those unskilful sportsmen who 
respect neither age nor species, and to whom nothing is sacred. 



SOUVENIRS OF AN OLD ROOK. 373 

By chance I alighted on the balustrade of the terrace, from the 
midst of which a group of half-dead cypresses was waving as the hour 
of midnight sounded through the chill air. In romances this hour is 
never allowed to strike with impunity, but in the true tale I am relat- 
ing, events must follow their natural course. The hour struck and 
nothing particular happened. It occurred to me to go to roost so as 
to be ready for a fresh start in the morning. I accordingly settled 
myself. 



THE DUKE AND DUCHESS. 

I was just going to sleep when the pale moonlight revealed an Owl 
sheltering with one wing an Owlet of rather striking appearance, while 
with the other he draped himself as would an operatic hero with his 
toga. I soon overheard them talking about the moon, the weather, 
A:c., or rather singing sentiment to a very lame tune. 

" Poor pale moon, if one only believed lovers, its light was made for 
them !" 

I always shrank from intruding myself upon the hospitality of others, 
so I whispered to a passing Bat, " My dear, would you be so good as 
to tell your masters a centenarian Rook seeks shelter for the night." 

" Who are you addressing 1 " replied the Bat ; "I am neither nurse 
nor lackey. I am in the service of the Duchess, and have the honour 
of being her first maid-in-waiting. But who are you, Mrs. Rook of a 
hundred summers 1 Where do you hail from 1 How shall I announce 
you ? What is your title 1 " 

" My titles to consideration are my age and need of rest." 

" What a silly old crone," said the stupid creature as she left me. 
" Nobles are never tired. Weariness is no title, it is the common 
attribute of the vulgar ! " 

Soon I came across the third maid-in-waiting, who proved herself two 
degrees less impertinent. " Do you know," she said, " the first maid 
has just been scolded on your account ] The Duchess was just singing 
a nocturnal duet with my Lord, when she remarked, * How dare you ] 
I am invisible to the poor.' Besides, she only entertains titled persons, 
and it seems you have no title." 

II What do you say? have I not eyes to see that your Grand Duke 



374 



PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



and Duchess are simply Owl and Owlet, on whom those airs sit 
badly \ " 

"Hush!" whispered the Bat, who was rather talkative. "Speak 




A NOCTURNAL UUET. 



lower. Were it known that I listened to you, I would be drawn away 
and perhaps eaten. Since leaving the place of their humble birth they 
only dream of grandeur, and hope one day to become real aristocrats 



SOUVENIRS OF AN OLD ROOK. 375 

in the midst of these old tokens of nobility. Bah ! the cowl does not 
make the monk, any more than the castle does the prince. Fly over 
there, my old friend, to the right, and you will find a better shelter in 
the ruins of the castle." 

" Show me them ; lead me to the souvenirs of departed greatness, 
out of sight of this sickly, spurious, howling waste of plaster and paint, 
sham, and shoddy. Thank you, my dear, your mistress was only 
natural when she was rude." 

Very little remained of the old castle, yet I would have given fifty 
restored ones for a single wall of the old pile. 

Is there anything more touching in the world than ruins which bear 
witness, so eloquently, to the greatness of the past ? 

How can we hesitate between old and new 1 The great present is 
but the mimicry of the greater past. 



AN OLD FALCON. 

This venerable wall enclosed a court as old as itself, and decked on 
one side with the green shoots of a vine. Lilies and wild tulips were 
growing between the stones of a dilapidated flight of steps partly 
covered with ivy. Sweet-scented wall-flowers and a variety of weeds 
were disputing the spaces with mosses, lichens, grass, briars, and nettles. 

Parsley, tufts of samphire and poppies, found a home among the 
debris, the bright flowers rivalling flames of consuming fire. 

AVI ifii the art of man has ceased to usurp the soil, nature slowly but 
surely demolishes his handiwork, and recovers her domain. 

The court belonged to an old Falcon who was ruined by the revolu- 
tions. He was a most hospitable bird, who spent all his income in 
entertaining, thus the court was the resort of creatures of every fur 
and feather; resourceless Rats, Shrew-Mice, Mining-Moles, Crickets, 
and other musicians, some of whom had even taken up their permanent 
abode within its walls. 

Alas, the chivalry and hospitality of the noble Falcon have vanished, 
and the old genuine sport in which he used to delight is mimicked by 
a troop of modern sportsmen whom the birds despise. They blaze 
away pompously with pellets and powder, secretly filling their bags at 
the nearest market-place. 



37<5 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



During my stay at this ruin I had occasion to study the habits of a 




Chameleon, whose character interested me greatly. I therefore hasten 
to publish my observations on this peculiar type of reptile. 



SOUVENIRS OF AN OLD ROOK. 377 



WHAT ANIMATES THE HEART OF A CHAMELEON. 



In one of the most pictur- 
esque niches of the old wall 
dwelt a Chameleon, one of 
the handsomest, most distin- 
guished, and most amiable 
creatures in the world. His 
figure was slight, his tail 
slender, his nails curved 

^ artistically, his teeth white 
and pearly, and his eyes 

i f quick and animated. His 

!%jHMiiLMH&e c ' ian , sin colours we j? a11 

v/*"** of them most agreeable to 

behold, indeed the whole 

of this charming creature was delicate and bewitching. 
When he ascended the wall, twisting his body into a thousand 
elegant forms, or when running through the flowering grass, one never 
tired of looking at him. Besides no one could be more simple or 
unaffected than this king of Lizards. He had no experience of the 
world, at least he only once had occasion to go into society, into the 
little world of Lizards, which is a hundred times less-corrupt than the 
world of Snakes, or of men. Yet he determined never to return to it, 
as the single day which he spent from home seemed to him a century. 
His contact with the world had left no taint, he lost nothing of that 
natural candour born of the freedom of the fields, where one sees the 
budding flowers opening to their fullest, to court the scrutiny of the 
midday light. 

II. 




In vain did a crested Jay assure him of his descent from the famous 
Crocodiles of the Nile, and that his ancestors were thirty-four feet in 
length. Finding himself so small, and feeling assured that the greatest 
of his ancestors had not been able to add a single line to his tail, he 
never troubled himself about his origin. It was sufficient for him to 



378 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

know that he had been brought into the world somehow, and to feel 
thankful for it. He was alike devoid of aristocratic weaknesses and 
vulgar vices. The most singular phase of his character was complete 
indifference to the sentiment of love. The most attractive female- 
Lizards knowing this, had disposed of their hearts and affections to 
others. 

in. 

The truth was he had given his heart away, unknown to his friends. 
Love had stolen upon him without he himself knowing how it is thus 
that the passion makes the heart captive. Love had so taken possession 
of him, that he could not get rid of it if he would. This is how one 
loves well and wisely. 

He loved the sun. When it was out, he was in it, and could think of 
nothing else. He slept while yet awake, realising the sweetness of 
noonday dreams. 



Our hero held that Lizard-love was a sentiment unknown, yet beneath 
the stone on which he sunned himself, a pair of bright eyes feasted 
upon his every look and action, and a little heart throbbed for him 
alone. This romantic worshipper feeling that she might just as well 
lavish her love upon a stone, that her adoration was unobserved, and 
her passion unrequited, sank into a state of despondency. Haunted by 
dark doubts, she at last thought of death as the end of her sorrows. 

In her extremity, she inquired of an old Eat, whether it was better 
to live and suffer, or to die and be done with dreams and delusions ? 

"Die, of course," said the Eat, "if you cannot make yourself agree- 
able." 

"I will die!" she exclaimed; "but he shall know the reason, he 
shall know all ! " 

Such is the force of a noble resolution, that the little Lizard who had 
never till now dared to look her loved one in the face, came forward. 
But her approaches were met by the gradual retreat of our hero, for 
he was naturally timid in the presence of females. 

" Stay," cried the little one in a tone of despair. " I love you, and 
you do not even know that I exist. I must die." 

"Don't die, my dear," he kindly replied ; "that would be highly 



SOUVENIRS OF AN OLD ROOK. 



379 



improper. What do you mean by saying you love me 1 I am a 
stranger to you, yet a joke comes well from those pretty lips." 




He instantly perceived, for he was an honest fellow, that his cold 
doubts wounded her sensitive nature, and a light warmer and brighter 
than the sun flashed from her eyes and took possession of him. He 
was conquered he proposed, and they were married. 



380 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



It always happens so with bachelors. It is the last straw that 
breaks the camel's back, in love as in life. 

Our hero still glories in the sunshine, and takes his ease stretched 
out before his own doorway. 




HISTORY OF THE HOSTS OF THE TERRACE Continued. 

The Duchess was by nature a person born to be plump and healthy ; 
to eat her food with the appetite of a country clown, and to enjoy 
drinking and dining with a savage relish. But she crushed and 
curbed these tendencies before the world, gratifying them only in secret. 
In token of her exalted station she professed sensitiveness and delicacy. 
She was frightened by the fall of a leaf, the flight of a bird or insect, 
and above all, by her own bulky shadow. 

Before folk she uttered nothing but plaintive, feeble cries, reserving 
the full blast of her lungs for the ears of the Duke. The purest air 
was too heavy for this ethereal Owl, who detested the sun the God 
of paupers, as she termed it Her husband, astonished at the fine 
carriage, grace, and society-refinement of his poor barn- Owlet, exhausted 
his resources in efforts to keep pace with her. Alas ! his highest 
flights left him far behind, so far, indeed, that his faithful spouse 
bemoaned and bescreeched her fate in being wedded to a person so 
hideously vulgar. 

The Duchess eloped with a Kite, and no one pitied the Duke, for 
the fall brought by pride never begets pity. 

As a finishing blow the lady left a perfumed note for her husband 



SOUVENIRS OF AN OLD ROOK. 381 

on the spot where they performed their moonlight duets on the 
terrace. It ran as follows : 

" THE DUKE, It is part of my destiny to be misunderstood, I shall 
not therefore attempt to explain to you the motive for my departure, 
" (Signed) THE DUCHESS OF THE TERRACE." 

The Duke stood petrified for some moments, after which, seized with 
a fit of despair, he rushed down to the edge of a dark pool, to ascertain 
whether the water would inspire him with courage to drown himself. 
First, he cautiously dipped his beak into the pool to feel its temperature, 
just as the moon stole out from behind a cloud, and he beheld his imauv 
on the surface. His mind at once grasped the frightful picture of his 
ruffled plumage, and he found sweet solace in arranging his toilet. The 
notion crossed his mind that the Duchess might repent, if she knew 
her Lord had died dressed in a style becoming his station. 

Bracing his nerves for the fatal plunge, he bent over the pool at an 
unhappy moment, when it occurred to him, that birds about to die 
should think twice before they leap, and feel satisfied they have sufficient 
grounds for the sacrifice. Stepping backwards a few paces, he read his 
wife's letter for the hundredth and first time. 

" What a fool I am ! " he exclaimed, " it is possible after all, I am 
imputing a wrong motive to my wife. There is no knowing ; she may 
have simply gone to the country for a week's repose, and will soon 
return." In his doubts he determined to consult a Carp, reputed for 
her knowledge of past, present, and future, and many things besides. 
The misery of the world is the making of these sorcerers. Approaching 
the river he cried out, " Tell me my fate old fish famed for finding out 
facts of the future." Slowly the Carp rose from the water until IKT 
body was half way above the surface and summoning a troop of piscine 
spirits, disposed them in a ring. Above floated circles of winged insects 
in the air, gleaming in the phosphorescent glow reflected from the scales 
of the water-witches. Dense clouds darkened the atmosphere, render- 
ing the lurid light all the more intense ; a profound stillness reigned, so 
hushed was the scene, that the Owl heard nothing, save the beating of 
his heart. The sorcerer placing herself in the centre of the ring, sent 
the spirits wheeling in a mad dance. After the third round, the 
Carp dived and brought up this reply, 

" Your beloved wife is not dead !" 



382 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 



That said, she bent herself like a bow, kissed her tail, and bounding 
into the air, disappeared. 




" She is not dead," repeated the chorus. " Owl, it is said you must 
die!" 



SOUVENIRS OF AN OLD ROOK. 



383 



" She is not dead ! " repeated the Owl. 

" She must be ! " 

" Well, never mind. To sacrifice a life so valuable as my own 
would not mend matters," so he consigned the Carp and her oracle to 
the water. 

I have been told that soon after these events, this rich, but weak- 
minded Owl poisoned himself with a Frog. That is how an Owl dies 
of love. 

My tale ends here. I have plucked and used my last quill, and 
nothing remains but the stump. Age is telling on me, the effort to 
write seems too great. I must, therefore, see my physician. 




CHAPTER. 



In which it will be shown that with beasts, as with men, one revolution 
follows another, and that they are all more or less alike in fair promises, 
and failures to fulfil them. 



THE Animals were once more as- 
sembled, and the tumult of voices 
worse than ever. Each and all of 
them were clamouring for reform. 

" Of what do you complain 1 " cried 
the Fox, addressing the crowd. 

" If we only knew our grievances," 
they replied, "we should not com- 
plain." 

"We do not know," said a voice, 
"but if we examine we shall find 
out." 

''Examine them, by all means," cried the Fox. 
" What good have you done," shouted the voice, " by compiling a 
one-sided history 1 Too much here, and too little there. Let us fight. 
A revolution will purge the kingdom." 

" That is all very well, my friend," replied the orator, " but reason 
is better than haphazard revolution. You must have learned that by 
experience." 

" Gentlemen," said the Weasel, coming to the aid of his accomplice, 
the Fox, " it is by practising deceit, we become perfect. Let us begin 
again." 

"I could have said so," cried the Mocking-bird, "ink, ink, always 




THE LAST CHAPTER. 



385 





2 P, 



386 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE OF ANIMALS. 

ink ; it blots out a multitude of sins where good actions would prove of 
no avail." 




" Bravo ! " from all sides. " Down with the editors ! " 
There was only one ink-pot in the room, and it was smashed. 
" It is not good for us to be here," said the* Weasel to the Fox; 
"people invariably stone their prophets. Let us go hence ! " 



THE LAST CHAPTER. 



387 



The volume was closed, the animals dispersed, for the keeper ap- 
peared on the scene to lock the door. 

The Kingdoves mounted to their clouds; the Bear departed with 
his cubs ; the Doves ascended heavenward ; while Tortoises, Beetles, 
Bats, Shrimps, and Apes danced round a bonfire of rejected manu- 
scripts. 




T1IK KM). 



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